- December 2, 2016
Technology And Manufacturing Jobs Market Getting Stronger
American employers hired additional 178,000 non-farm workers in November. This led to the unemployment rate dropping to 4.6%, which was its lowest level in nine years! Additionally, two other jobs reports point to an improved talent and wages picture.
Strong Manufacturing And Technology Jobs Hiring
First, the Strategic Search Corporation technology jobs report generated by our engineering and technical recruiting teams. We found from surveys of other technical and engineering recruiters over the past 6 months that engineers, scientists, R&D (research and development), IT (information technology) and manufacturing talent remain in short supply and high demand. This has led vastly higher wages and increased lengths of job vacancies for many technology openings in cutting edge scientific, engineering and research oriented fields such as AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics.
Second, a recent report shows that manufacturing has been very strong over the past 5 months. This has led to many manufacturing jobs being created. Moreover, three future moves that stand out are Carrier keeping 1000 jobs in Indiana, Ford keeping manufacturing in Louisville and Apple considering building a huge U.S. manufacturing plant.
True Unemployment Improved
True unemployment, which includes both unemployment and underemployment (i.e. those who have stopped looking and those in part-time jobs who want full-time positions) dropped to 9.3% in November from 9.5% the prior month. This was its lowest level since April 2008.
Jobs Reports Not Entirely Rosy!
It is true that more people found work recently. However, more than 400,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force last month as a result of both an aging population and younger workers either giving up, going to school or staying home to care for dependents.
Because of this the labor-force participation rate, those with jobs or actively seeking work, edged down to 62.7% in November from 62.8% the prior month and continues to hover near a four-decade low. The rate for prime-age workers, those 25 to 54 years old, slipped to 81.4% from 81.6% in October.
Wage gains, meanwhile, are outpacing inflation but stumbled last month. Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers declined 3 cents from October, or 0.1%, to $25.89 in November. Earnings were up 2.5% from a year earlier, a small step down from October’s 2.8%, which was the strongest annual wage growth since June 2009.
Job gains have averaged 180,000 a month so far this year, down from 225,000 during the same 11-month stretch in 2015.
Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen a year ago said the economy needs to add “under 100,000 jobs per month” to absorb new entrants into the labor force and adding about 200,000 would be enough to draw workers off the sidelines.