BLS Analysis for October 2018 – 6 Featured Articles

Bob Marshall’s October 2018 BLS Analysis for Recruiters; 11/2/18


The 6 October/November Articles…


Start here…


GDP Grows at 3.5% in 3rd Quarter; Fastest Two-Quarter Growth in 4 Years
Daily News, October 26, 2018


US real gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.5% in the 3rd quarter, according to the “advance” estimate of GDP growth released today by the US Commerce Department.


Real GDP for the US increased 4.2% in the 2nd quarter.


The deceleration in real GDP growth in the third quarter reflects a downturn in exports and a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment.  Imports increased in the third quarter after decreasing in the prior quarter.  These movements were partly offset by an upturn in private inventory investment.


MarketWatch’s poll of economists had forecast third-quarter GDP would rise at a rate of 3.4%.  Expansion in the last 2 quarters is the fastest 6 months of growth in 4 years.  The economy looks like it will expand above a 3% rate in 2018, according to MarketWatch.  That hasn’t happened since 2005.


Brian Schaitkin, senior economist at The Conference Board, noted a confluence of fiscal stimulus measures and elevated business and consumer confidence have helped the US economy enjoy an extended period of well-above trend growth.  In 2019, however, headwinds from Federal Reserve policy, the fading influence of stimulus measures and a weaker external environment will drag growth back towards its longer-term trend.


“Robust consumption growth continues to lead the current strong growth period,” Schaitkin said in a statement.  “Labor market fundamentals remain very strong with unemployment at its lowest levels since the 1960s, wage growth accelerating gradually especially among blue-collar workers and consumer confidence high and rising.  However, the Federal Reserve is continuing to tighten monetary policy to combat upward inflationary pressure leading to increased financing costs for households.”



Flexible Schedules, Telecommuting Most Sought-After Nonmonetary Perks: Robert Half

Daily News, October 25, 2018


Professionals want more choices in when and where they work, according to research released today by Robert Half.


Flexible work schedules, a compressed workweek and the ability to telecommute are the most sought-after nonmonetary perquisites, according to the survey of more than 1,500 workers and more than 600 HR managers in North America.  However, while many companies offer flexible work schedules, fewer than 1 in 5 offer shorter workweeks or remote work options.


There was less of a disconnect when it came to monetary motivators: 44% of employers surveyed said they offer annual or biannual bonuses to employees, while 77% of workers cited bonuses are their most desired incentive when considering job offers.  Profit-sharing plans and sign-on bonuses are also highly important to workers, tied at 49% each; however, they are offered by only 33% and 19% of employers, respectively.


The survey also addressed benefits and found most companies already offer the two most wanted employee benefits: health insurance, cited by 88% of workers, and paid time off — including vacation, sick days and paid holidays — cited by 80% of workers.


“In today’s competitive hiring environment, job candidates are looking at more than just salary and bonus — they seek the complete package and place added emphasis on quality of life,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half.  “Companies that don’t offer in-demand nonmonetary perks in addition to a competitive salary and benefits are not likely to land or keep top performers.”



Wages for US Workers Rise 3.5% Year over Year:  ADP

Daily News, October 24, 2018


Wages for US workers increased 3.5% over the last year, raising the average wage level by 95 cents to $27.81 an hour, according to the ADP ‘Workforce Vitality Report’, released today.  The growth was driven by strong wage gains for workers in the professional and business services industry, and in trade.


“Full employment is upon us,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute.  “This is evident in the gradual slowdown we’ve seen in overall job switching for the past year, coupled with an acceleration in wage growth for switchers.  As the labor market tightened, employers focused on providing the pay and benefits that would attract and retain skilled talent, making job holders less apt to switch.”


Among industries, information continued to lead the way for both wage level and wage growth.  In addition to the top overall wage growth number of 6.2%, those who successfully switched positions to the information industry had wage growth of 9.8%.


The report also found 20.9% of US employees successfully switched firms in the last year, highlighting an overall slowdown in job switching.  On the flip side, wage growth for job switchers gradually accelerated during this same time period, currently at 5.6%.


The report used payroll data derived from a sample of approximately 250,000 companies and 18,000,000 employees each month, which accounts for about 15% of all US private-sector employees.



Pittsburgh Ranks as Top City for Jobs Based on Hiring, Other Factors:  Glassdoor

Daily News, October 17, 2018


Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Indianapolis rank as the best cities for jobs, according to data released today from Glassdoor.


This list is compiled by ranking US metros with the highest Glassdoor City Score (out of 5), determined by weighing three factors equally: how easy it is to get a job (hiring opportunity), how affordable it is to live there (cost of living), and how satisfied employees are working there (job satisfaction).


The top 10 cities on the list:


  1. Pittsburgh: Score 4.7; Hot jobs: Financial advisor, registered nurse, warehouse associate


  1. St. Louis: Score 4.3; Hot jobs: Cloud engineer, business analyst, insurance agent


  1. Indianapolis: Score 4.3; Hot jobs: Mechanical engineer, marketing manager, truck driver


  1. Cincinnati: Score 4.2; Hot jobs: Account executive, software engineer, sales associate


  1. Hartford, Conn.: Score 4.2; Hot jobs: Electrical engineer, teacher, maintenance technician


  1. Boston: Score 4.2; Hot jobs: Software engineer, project manager, administrative assistant


  1. Memphis, TN.: Score 4.2; Hot jobs: Product manager, account executive, restaurant manager


  1. Raleigh, NC: Score 4.2; Hot jobs: Registered nurse, research associate, business analyst


  1. Cleveland, OH: Score 4.2; Hot jobs: Java engineer, consultant, store manager


  1. Detroit, MI: Score 4.1; Hot jobs: Manufacturing engineer, data scientist, auto technician


This year’s list has 4 cities that did not rank on the 2017 list:  Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond and San Francisco.  The state with the most cities represented among the top 25 is Ohio with Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus — while Missouri, Pennsylvania and North Carolina are each represented with two cities on this year’s list.


However, several of the country’s hot technology and finance hubs, including New York City, Los Angeles and San Jose, did not crack the top 25, primarily due to the high cost of living in those areas.


“In today’s labor market, highly skilled job seekers are in an incredible position to find top jobs no matter where they live,” Glassdoor Economic Research Analyst Amanda Stansell said.  “But, the popularity of many major metropolitan hubs might be overshadowing the potential benefits of several midsize cities like Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.”



Job Openings Hit New High in August, More Than 900,000 Openings than Unemployed Workers

Daily News, October 16, 2018


The number of US job openings reached another new record in August, and the number of openings outpaced the number of unemployed in August by 902,000, according to data released today from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.


There were 7,100,000 job openings in August — up 18.1% year over year — and approximately 6,200,000 unemployed people in the same month.


According to the updated numbers, the number of hires also reached a series high and separations were little changed compared to the previous month.


The job openings rate — a measure of job openings compared with total employment — was 4.6% in August, up from 4.0% in August 2017.


The BLS report also measures the “quits” portion of separations, where workers leave a job voluntarily, rose by 12.7% year over year to approximately 3,600,000.


“The fact that record numbers of workers are voluntarily quitting their jobs suggests that they are finding substantially better opportunities elsewhere in the economy,” Julia Pollak, labor economist at online employment marketplace ZipRecruiter, told CNBC.


The BLS also reported today, in a separate report, that the US median weekly wage increased 3.3% year over year to $887 in the third quarter.  Women had median weekly earnings of $796, or 81.8% of the $973 median for men.


Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management, professional and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings: $1,460 for men and $1,084 for women.


By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $556, compared with $736 for high school graduates with no college education and $1,338 for those holding at least a bachelor’s degree.  Among college graduates with advanced degrees — master’s, professional, and doctoral degrees — the highest-earning 10% of male workers made $3,922 or more per week, compared with $2,789 or more for their female counterparts.



Job Growth for Middle-Wage Positions Will Lag:  CareerBuilder

Daily News, October 5, 2018


The US is expected to add 8,300,000 jobs from 2018 to 2023, but only one-fourth of these jobs will fall within the middle-wage category, according to a CareerBuilder study released today.  Factored into the total job growth is an expected loss of 369,879 jobs over the same time period, with middle wage occupations experiencing the majority of the decline.


The research’s key findings include:


*High-wage and low-wage occupations are expected to have the highest net job growth from 2018 to 2023 at 5.71% and 5.69%, respectively.  Middle-wage employment will grow at 3.83%.


*High-wage and low-wage occupations each will add 1,000,000 more jobs than middle-wage occupations from 2018 to 2023.  High-wage occupations are expected to add 3,117,284 jobs and low-wage occupations are expected to add 3,098,476 jobs, compared to 2,094,243 new jobs for middle-wage occupations.


*A total of 121 occupations will experience a decline in jobs between 2018 and 2023, and 75 of those occupations are middle-wage.  Across the 121 total occupations, 369,879 jobs will be lost with middle-wage occupations accounting for 58% of the loss.


*STEM-related occupations — science, technology, engineering and math — will continue to dominate fast-growing occupations.


“Technology innovation is moving at an unprecedented rate and is rapidly redefining the occupations and skills required in the job market,” said CareerBuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky.  “Most of the fastest-growing occupations have a technical component to them.  Employers will need to play a greater role in providing competency-based training to the workforce.  At the same time, workers across all job levels will need to continually pursue opportunities to upskill in order to maneuver around accelerated shifts in labor demand.  This is a particularly pressing issue for middle-wage workers who are at greater risk for becoming displaced and workers in general who want to move up into better-paying jobs.”


The study defined low-wage jobs as those that pay $14.17 or less per hour; middle-wage jobs as $14.18 to $23.59 per hour; and high-wage jobs as $23.60 per hour.  The analysis is based on data from Emsi and focuses on 774 occupations that are classified by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  It includes data for workers who are employed with organizations and those who are self-employed.