Employment in the USA today

The End of Employees

Never before have big employers tried so hard to hand over chunks of their business to contractors. From Google to Wal-Mart, the strategy prunes costs for firms and job security for millions of workers.

Scarcity of skilled workers

The unemployment rate back in 2009 was around 10%. Roughly 15 million Americans were actively looking for work, but were unable to find employment. Today, that number is about half. With fewer people searching for job, many smaller employers are finding it difficult to hire skilled workers. The solution: if you can’t find skilled workers, train those that you have.

Nearly two-thirds of small businesses are spending more time training workers than they were a year ago. That could give more Americans access to skilled manufacturing jobs as companies invest the time and resources to bring in less-experienced workers.

Bottoms up

While percent-wise fewer workers are staff employees, those that are may be earning a bit more money. As you know, the minimum wage has been increasing around the country. A record 19 states raised their minimum wage in 2017. Roughly 10% of all employees in Arizona, California, and the state of Washington were affected by this wage increase. Millions of workers earning at or near the minimum wage received a mandated raise in 19 states in their first January paychecks –ranging from a $1.95 an hour increase in Arizona to an extra nickel an hour in Florida and Missouri. Overall, the average hourly pay may increase 0.3% in January as result of minimum-wage changes in 19 states.

Payrolls surge in January

The labor market began 2017 on a high note as U.S employers added 227,000 jobs in January, raising the prospect of solid hiring this year amid a burst of business confidence in the Trump Administration. That new jobs figure was much higher than was expected. Average hourly wages rose a modest 3 cents to $26; that’s $54,080 annually.

The unemployment rate, which is calculated from a different survey, rose to 4.8% from 4.7%, the Labor Department said Friday.

On the downside, job gains for November and December were revised down by 39,000. November’s was revised to 164,000 from 204,000, and December’s to 157,000 from 156,000.

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