Thursday, 13 July 2017

US Job Streak Continues, Pulling People Back

81 straight months of job growth now.

Since Trump, job numbers haven't shot up -- instead, they have maintained a the steady improvement taking place since the end of the Great Recession. (But new a recession warned about by Trump critics hasn't happened either.)

However, what is interesting economists most perhaps is that while new jobs continue to be added, the numbers of people taking those jobs isn't slowing down. There was talk that everyone looking for a job (and viably employable) was going to find a job, but instead it seems people who weren't looking for jobs before are being pulled into the workforce.

That includes blacks, Latinos, and teenagers, who have seen significant reductions in their unemployment rates. For white adults, the level is more steady. People with criminal records, also, may be finding an easier time getting a job, according to anecdotal evidence.

Not all sectors are hiring, though. The health care industry is really growing. Mining (including oil and gas) is also growing (or recovering from 2015/2016). Manufacturing is flat, though. Automakers continue to cut jobs. Retail, although it added thousands of jobs in June, is also down significantly this year (people are still talking about the effects of Amazon and other online sellers).

How much room there still remains for the U.S. jobs market to grow might be partially indicated by the pre-recovery employment rate for adults age 25-54 (a demographic used by the U.S. because it factors out baby boomer effects). Before the recession, the number of people working was 80%. When economic recovery began, that number was down at 74.8. It's now at 78.5.

Since people are available to fill the new jobs, wages aren't being pushed up. The average wage rose 2.5% last year, above the 2% for inflation, but still representative of a slowdown since 2016.

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