U.S. Job Market Hits A Turning Point
Madison, WI (Manufacturing.net, December 8, 2014): Look past the booming November job gain of 321,000 reported Friday — the best figure in three years in the strongest year for U.S. hiring since 1999.
The job market has reached a new milestone on its road to full health: For the first time since the Great Recession ended 5½ years ago, America's unemployed are now as likely to be hired as to stop looking for a job.
It means that employers have grown confident enough to fill more job vacancies. And it means the unemployed are now less likely to succumb to frustration.
The hiring surge owes much to solid consumer spending — on items like cars, electronics and restaurant meals. That, in turn, has given businesses the means to step up investment in machinery, computers and facilities. Thanks to such spending, the economy grew at a 4.3 percent annual pace from April through September — the healthiest six-month spurt since 2003. Employers have responded by adding a robust average of 241,000 jobs a month this year.
For each month, the government estimates the proportion of the unemployed who found work and the proportion who stopped looking. In November, 23 percent of people who were out of work the previous month found jobs, and the same percentage gave up looking. (The figures are three-month averages, intended to smooth out volatility.)
Veterans' Outreach Open House
Lancaster (December 10, 2014): On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, dozens of Lancaster County veterans joined the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County for its first Veterans' Outreach Open House. Participants had an opportunity to meet support service providers as well as employers in the Lancaster County area. The Veteran Services staff of the PA CareerLink (located at 1016 N. Charlotte St. in Lancaster) hosted the event. (See our Veterans portal on this site by clicking here.)
Employers attending included Tyson, Assurant Connected Living, Hollywood Casino, Dart Container, Fulton Bank, RR Donnelley, Lancaster General, Allied Barton, Primerica, Excentia, Retreat, Flex-Cell, and Sygma Network. Support services providers include Tabor Community Services, the PA Veterans' Chamber, OIF/OEF of the Lebanon Veterans Administration Center, PHEAA, AARP, Compeers Vet2Vet, AMVETS #19, Lancaster County Vet Services, USDA, HACC, PA Mobile Veterans Outreach Van, and My Vet Advisor
In addition, the employment services that are provided by the PA CareerLink of Lancaster to assist Veterans in learning more about training programs, job searching, and job networking were highlights. Veterans met the Veteran Representatives of the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County, Rich Boyer and Reggie Jones. Contact them at 717-509-5613
U.S. Employers Are Posting A Lot More Job Openings
Harrisburg, PA (Central Penn Business Journal, December 9, 2014): WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of job openings in the United States rose to a near 13-year high in October, a hopeful sign for the U.S. economy and labor market.
Employers outside of the farming sector had 4.83 million jobs waiting to be filled during the month, up from 4.69 million in September, the Labor Department said on Tuesday.
Job openings across the U.S. economy have increased sharply since April, and the number of open slots in October was just shy of the 4.85 million jobs available in August, which was the highest reading since 2001.
While employers haven't been as quick to actually fill those openings, the increase in postings in recent months has coincided with other positive economic news that has made analysts more confident the economy is accelerating.
The number of available jobs could be making workers more confident to leave their current workplaces. The share of total employees opting to quit their jobs was 1.9 percent in October. That's a tenth of a point lower than in September, but this rate has also increased in recent months and now is at roughly the same level it was just before the 2007-09 recession.
Most U.S. Unemployed Don't Get Benefits
Madison, WI (Manufacturing.net, November 21, 2014): Even though the U.S. job market is gaining strength, there are still a lot of unemployed Americans. Yet only a fraction of them are receiving financial aid from the government.
Fewer than 25 percent of those out of work are signed up for weekly unemployment benefits, a near-record low since the government began tracking this data in 1987. That's a sharp turnaround from just after the recession, when as many as three-quarters of those out of work received help, a record high.
The drop counters a common assumption that most of those out of work receive unemployment benefits. It is partly a sign of an improving job market: Layoffs have plummeted and Americans seem more confident in their prospects for finding a job. But the drop also reflects the fact that state and federal benefit programs have been downsized from where they were just a few years ago. Unemployment benefits had been extended nationwide for as long as 99 weeks in 2009.
"We cut back on the safety net really sharply when the labor market is still damaged," said Josh Bivens, director of research at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank.
In October, an average of 2.1 million people received benefits each week, according to calculations by the EPI. That is equal to just 23.3 percent of the nearly 9 million who were out of work, and is just above September's 23.2 percent, the all-time low.
On Thursday, the government said 291,000 people applied for benefits last week, the 10th straight week that applications were below 300,000. That suggests the number of recipients will remain low.