The May jobs report is out, and has far exceeded even some of the most optimistic expectations.
The unemployment rate is lower than it has been since the beginning of the century, and is set to decrease even more in the foreseeable future. Jobs have been added in a number of industries, showcasing a strong, growing economy benefiting people of all ages and walks of life.
Unemployment levels for African-Americans have dropped below 6% for the first time ever, and Hispanic unemployment levels are almost at record lows as well. Young people who often have a hard time finding a job in a tight economy due to having to compete against older, more experienced workers have now been able to find entry-level career opportunities as older workers are able to find jobs with pay matching their skill level.
Even workers without a high school diploma have benefitted from the current job market, as unemployment levels for workers over 25-years-old without a high school diploma has fallen from 6.2% to 5.4% over the past year. It is also worth noting that the May job numbers show that the number of full-time jobs is dramatically increasing, thus making it possible for part-time workers who have wanted to find more productive work to be able to do so.
Naturally, some industries are offering far more job opportunities than others. Professional service jobs have increased by nearly 23,000 as companies search for those who can provide needed technical services. Construction jobs are up by a whopping 25,000, while leisure and hospitality jobs rose once again — offering more than 20,000 job opportunities to those willing to enter careers in this field. Educational jobs are up by nearly 40,000, which is surprising given the fact that jobs in this field decreased last month. Other industries showing impressive job growth include manufacturing, mining, retail, wholesale and healthcare. The trucking industry is also on a hiring spree, adding more than 6,000 jobs last month; however, industry experts note that many trucking companies are struggling to find willing job applicants. This could indicate that job growth in this field is understated for this month and could rise in June and/or the coming months.
Given the healthy state of the labor market, it would seem that wages would also rise as companies vie with each other to find experienced, trustworthy, hardworking employees. Wages have risen by an average of 2.7% over the last year, which is less than would be expected in robust economy. However, economists note that there are several why expected wage increases are not in step with the state of the job market.
One reason is that small and medium size enterprises simply cannot afford to hike wages quickly. The decline of labor unions and slow productivity in some sectors are also being blamed for the delay in wage increases. Some experts note that people who opt to continue working with the same company over an extended period of time are not given job raises, while those who switch jobs in order to earn more money often receive a wage increase. At the same time, data does show that wages are growing in certain fields. What is more, experts note that wage growth is inevitable if the job market continues to remain as healthy as it currently is because companies will be vying with each other for a smaller pool of potential workers.
The dramatic growth in jobs in recent month is certainly cause for celebration. In fact, President Trump could hardly keep the good news to himself (to the surprise of absolutely no one). While the president’s critics have focused on the fact that he abandoned protocol by publicly commenting on the report before its release, the fact remains that a strong economy will not only benefit workers throughout the United States, but also make it hard for those who oppose President Trump to find fault with him in the upcoming November 2018 mid-term elections.
While the party in power typically faces loses in such a season, the current strong state of the economy is sure to give people an incentive to vote for the status quo rather than switching over. Considering this, it’s no wonder why the president couldn’t keep a secret for very long.
~ Liberty Planet