By the Numbers: October 5, 2018

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Unemployment Rate Plummets to a Near 49 Year Low

The Numbers: September saw U.S. job growth slow considerably, most likely due to the impact of Hurricane Florence within the restaurant and retail industries. However, the unemployment rate fell to 3.7% – a near 49 year low. The monthly report from the Labor Department, released today, reported a consistent increase in wages which could signal moderate inflation pressures resulting in gradual interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve.

Gig Work Brings In $864 Billion in Revenue in U.S.

The Numbers: Workers in the gig economy made up 31% of all U.S. workers in 2017 (about 48 million workers) per Staffing Industry Analysts. That’s an increase from 29% based on 2015 data. As well, $864 billion in U.S. revenue was due to contingent work, which is an increase in growth of 8.8% from 2015.

Minneapolis Has Lowest Employment Rate Among Large U.S. Metros in August

The Numbers:  “The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area in Minnesota and Wisconsin posted the lowest unemployment rate among all large, US metropolitan areas in August at 2.5%, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced. The New Orleans-Metairie area in Louisiana posted the highest jobless rate among large metropolitan areas in August at 5.3%, followed closely by the Cleveland-Elyria area in Ohio at 5.2%.”

Competitive Employment Market Speeds Up Time-to-Hire

The Numbers: Per a recent survey from Clutch, ‘Statistics on the Average Job Search in 2018’,  about 60% of recently hired employees were offered the job within two months of starting their job search. About 43% stated they were offered a job in less than two weeks. A little over 50% applied to five jobs or fewer due to the strong competition for talent.

What’s Really Going on in the Employment Market?

The Numbers: Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky goes over insight that shows that ‘rosy figures aren’t giving us the full picture’. Underemployment is on the rise as many workers are finding it challenging to find quality jobs with enough working hours. Our report, Cognitive Dissonance: Reports vs. Reality, What’s Really Happening in the Employment Market goes behind these very headlines to give you the information straight – our findings may surprise you.

Gender Pay Gaps are Negatively Impacted by Bonuses

The Numbers: Incentive pay such as bonuses can increase gender pay gaps by about $3,500 per an ADP Research Institute study.  Per the study, women were paid $15,000 less in base pay than men but when incentive pay was included that gap widened to $18,500.

Amazon to Eliminate Bonuses for Hourly Workers

The Numbers: Earlier this week Amazon announced they were increasing their minimum wage to $15 an hour.  To help offset this cost, the company is removing bonuses as well as stock options for hourly employees. Per Amazon, employees will still enjoy a larger paycheck, “Because it’s no longer incentive-based, the compensation will be more immediate and predictable.”

Half of Americans Don’t Take a Week’s Vacation

The Numbers: 38% of Americans haven’t taken a full week’s vacation in more than two years, with more than half not having taken one in more than a year. About a third did take a vacation in the last 4-12 months, and 18% took vacation in the past three months.

Website Development Roles Growing Fast on Freelancer.com

The Numbers: Roles requiring website development and internet applications are some of the fastest-growing jobs on the Freelancer.com platform per a quarterly report from the company. Social-media related jobs and creative skills are also on the rise.

NABE Survey Optimistic on U.S. Economy

The Numbers: “Economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics raised slightly their growth projections for the US economy in 2018, the association announced today. The median forecast calls for real GDP growth of 2.9% on an annual basis this year, up from the June 2018 estimate of 2.8%. Panelists also increased their forecast for nonfarm employment growth.”

U.S. Manufacturing Index Decelerates

The Numbers:Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector accelerated in September but at a slower rate than in August, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index, released today. ISM’s manufacturing index fell in September to a reading of 59.8 from August’s reading of 61.3. Readings above 50 generally indicate improving conditions.”

Wages Increasing at Three NY Area Airports

The Numbers: After a year of campaigning and protests by airport employees, wages will be increased from $13 an hour to $19 an hour by 2023 at three NY area airports. About 40K baggage handlers, cabin leaners, and caterers will be eligible.

Amazon Raises Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

The Numbers: Effective November 1, 2018, Amazon will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. This increase impacts full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees in the U.S. – including those hired by agencies. Whole Foods and other Amazon subsidiaries are also affected, and those that already make $15 an hour will also be given raises.

U.S. Nonmanufacturing Activity Accelerates in September, Employment Metric Hits Record High

The Numbers: “Economic activity in the US nonmanufacturing sector accelerated in September, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing index released today. ISM’s nonmanufacturing index rose to a reading of 61.6 in September from a reading of 58.5 in August. Readings above 50 generally indicate improving conditions. The employment portion of the index jumped in September to 62.4, up from August’s reading of 56.7 and the highest reading since the inception of the employment index in 1997. Thirteen industries reported increased employment, and two industries — utilities and information — reported decreased employment.”

Retailers Zero in on Holiday Employees that Increase ‘In-Store Experiences’

The Numbers:  Per a retailer survey from Korn Ferry, 15% of the major U.S. retailers surveyed are ‘looking for employees who better align with brand culture.’ As well, 21% stated they are looking for employees ‘who can help create strong in-store experiences for customers.’

A Quarter of SMB are Tracking Finances Manually

The Numbers: 25% of small businesses still track finances by hand according to a survey by Clutch.  A little over half use accounting software. About 72% combine HR and accounting roles into one job.

Women Are Assigned and Complete More Work Than Men

The Numbers: Per ‘The State of the Workplace Gender Report’, women are assigned 55% of all work (compared to 45% for men) and complete 10% more work than men.

Holiday Hiring Market Competitive

The Numbers: A survey from Snag found that 84% of employers are expecting hiring increases this year while 77% are planning to offer attractive benefits and perks. Wages for seasonal workers are to rise by 32% – $11.70 in 2017 to $15.40 in 2018. The three industries to have the biggest increases are retail (wages to rise by 54%), hospitality (51%), and the restaurant industry (33%).

Gig Workers Have Stable Wages but Sporadic Work

The Numbers: The majority of gig workers are in the transportation sector (driving services) but wages have decreased along with the volume of workers entering the market. For example, those driving for Uber and Lyft are making half now of that they made in 2012. Per the study from JPMorgan Chase, these gig workers could have accepted full-time work and are mainly using these transportation jobs as supplemental income.

2018-10-05T14:59:43+00:00 October 5th, 2018|

About the Author:

Erin Geiger is a seasoned Content, Editorial, and Product Engagement professional with two decades of experience creating content as well as overall content direction and strategy. Her background stems from a variety of online verticals ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations.