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May 2018 Workforce Perspectives


Published on

May 2018 BLS report insights by Joanie Courtney featuring:
- Labor Market Highlights
- April Labor Trends: A Close Look
- April Job Gains
- Unemployment Rates
- Labor Participation
- What It All Means for Employees

Published in: Economy & Finance

May 2018 Workforce Perspectives

  1. 1. WorkforcePerspectives May 2018 BLS Report Insights by Joanie Courtney Based on April BLS Data
  2. 2. Labor Market Highlights 164,000 Number of jobs added in APRIL Unemployment rate at 3.9% Consumer Confidence 128.7 up from March 6.1 Million Available Jobs Continued job expansion, low unemployment but declining labor participation 62.8% Labor Participation declined to 17 YEAR LOW Hourly Pay GREW $0.04 in April to $26.84
  3. 3. . April Labor Trends: A Closer Look April’s labor report is marked by continued job expansion and stability, but less than expected gains in wages and labor participation. While on the surface, the lowest unemployment rate of since 2011 looks promising, it is unfortunate that the decline was caused by 236,000 people exiting the workforce. The labor participation rate for prime-age workers, those age 25 to 54, also ticked lower. With 6.1 million available jobs, increasing pay rates and 7.8 million part-time workers who prefer full-time employment, one expects to see higher job creation. For example, job gains remain strong in consumer producing goods, including manufacturing, construction, and mining, as well as professional and business services. Of the 54,000 new jobs added in the professional sector, more than 10,000 were temporary jobs. Overall, April numbers may be explained by several factors: 1) companies are having difficultly filling permanent jobs, 2) employers are looking for greater flexibility in their ongoing workforce model, 3) ongoing trade negotiations with China and other countries could be creating uncertainty.
  4. 4. April Job Gains: 164,000 GOODS-PRODUCING SECTOR 49,000 SERVICE-PROVIDING SECTOR Construction Manufacturing Natural Resources & Mining Transportation & Warehousing Financial Activities Leisure & Hospitality HealthCare & Social Assistance Professional & Business Services 400 29,000 50,000 24,000 8,000 2,000 18,000 17,000 Points of Interest: • Goods-producing sector added 49,000, while service producing sector added 119,000. • Transportation & Warehousing demonstrates a strong skills gap, with nearly flat job growth at the same time that demand for drivers is dramatically high. Unemployment Rate 3.9% Retail Trade 1,800
  5. 5. Points of Interest: • Unemployment in Financial Activities fell to a striking level of 1.6%. • Jobs in certain professional sectors, including STEM and Information Technology, are also much lower than the national average. Unemployment Rates 6.5% APR 2018 APR 2017 APR 2018 APR 2017 APR 2018 APR 2017 Manufacturing Construction Financial Activities 3.3% 3.9% 6.3% 1.6% 2.3% APR 2018 APR 2017 APR 2018 APR 2017 APR 2018 APR 2017 Information Technology Professional & Business Services Transportation & Warehousing 2.3% 4.1% 3.5% 4.9% 3.0% 3.5%
  6. 6. Labor Participation Shrinking Workforce While unemployment dipped to 3.9% the fall is driven in part by a decline in the labor force participation rate, now at 62.8%. 236,000 people left the workforce this month, with lower participation among the prime workforce age group of 24 to 54.
  7. 7. . What it All Means for Employers The April report may also indicate that the skills gap is even greater than realized. Transportation and logistics are a prime example of where demand for drivers is dramatically high, yet job growth was flat. It begs the question of whether employers need to seek new strategies for filling their labor needs, such as hiring people with the right potential and providing training that enables them to fill the positions. At EmployBridge, training is a significant area of investment. Through a partnership with Penn Foster, we offer our associates free training with the Better WorkLife Academy. Since Fall of 2017, over 9,000 associates have enrolled in training or certification programs, indicating a strong desire among American workers to improve their employment opportunities and skills.
  8. 8. emX Joanie Courtney President and Chief Operating Officer, RemX Professional Services As an employment industry expert, Joanie is often called upon to discuss the job market, careers, and workplace trends, and for insight on the talent supply and demand cycles that impact U.S. employers. She is frequently featured as a keynote speaker at industry conferences, and her commentary on the employment market has been featured on media outlets such as Fox Business Network, Associated Press, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, and Forbes. About RemX RemX is the professional staffing division of EmployBridge, a $3 billion staffing organization with more than 600 offices in the U.S. and Canada. For nearly two decades, RemX has specialized in the recruitment of office support, finance and accounting, contact center, information technology, and engineering professionals. Using its proven “Exact Match” methodology, RemX matches qualified talent with the right job opportunities on a temporary, contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire basis.