5 things employers need to know about the June jobs report
By: Lily Martis, Monster contributor
There was much anticipation leading up to the release of this month’s jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with recessions being top-of-mind. For one, June marked the 10-year anniversary of the Great Recession. Then, with last month’s dismal job gains in May, questions lingered if the economy would rebound or begin to show signs of another recession.
However, with a strong gain of 224,000 jobs to the labor market, employers can breathe easy now. The report also showed average hourly wages increased by 6 cents, while the unemployment rate ticked up by 3.7%. Here are the headlines from June’s report.
- Economic Expansion is the Longest in U.S. History.
In June, the economy regained its footing after a minor hiccup in May, with the addition of 224,000 jobs, well above Bloomberg economist predictionsof 160,000. Earlier this week, payroll processor ADPreported a modest gain of 102,000 jobs in the private sector. With this month’s job gains, the current U.S. economic expansion is believed to have become the longest in the nation’s history. At 121 months, it’s been a gradual expansion, with the economy growing an average of 2.3% each year since June 2009.
2. Hiring Freeze Continues in Manufacturing, Amid Trade Wars.
Hiring in manufacturing increased by 17,000 jobs, following four months of little change. So far this year, the industry’s job growth has averaged 8,000 jobs per month, compared with the average of 22,000 jobs per month in 2018. Economists and industry executives attribute much of this slowdown to uncertainty over tariffs and trade, the New York Times reports. “Uncertainty remains very high for manufacturers and for companies with global exposure right now,” said Michelle Meyer, chief economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “They’re still producing to meet demand, but they’re not looking to exceed that. They’re being very cautious.”
3. Minority Women are the Biggest Job Winners.
As part of the U.S. economic expansion, Hispanic women have emerged as the biggest job market winners, the New York Timesreports. Employment rates for Hispanic women between 25 and 54 (prime working years) have jumped by 2.2 points—more than any other working group—followed by Black women. Along with economic growth, changing social trends can also be attributed to the rise of working Hispanic women. Historically, these minority women have earned fewer degrees and had among the highest fertility rates, which had long kept them from making job and wage gains. With a decline in fertility, these women have steadily raised college attainment and have been finding jobs and earning more than ever before.
4. More People are Looking for Jobs.
After sitting at a near-50-year low for a couple months, the unemployment rate increased from 3.6% to 3.7% in June. Strong job gains and an uptick in workforce participation (from 62.8% to 62.9%) shows that more people were willing to look for a job last month, which means they were counted as unemployed, rather than outside the labor force. The broadest measure—which includes part-time workers who want full-time work—rose to 7.2% after hitting a more-than 18-year low in May. While hiring slowdowns are common among employers in the summer months when workers tend to take vacations, this new data shows that now may be the perfect time to find talent.
5. Job Cuts are Highest in a Decade.
A new report from Challenger, Gray, and Christmas shows that U.S. job cuts in the first half of this year are at their highest total since 2009. According to the report, U.S. employers announced they will be cutting 140,577 jobs in the secord quarter of this year, compared to the 896,675 layoffs that were announced in the first half of 2009 when the Great Recession hit. The retail sector continued to see the largest amount of jobs cuts this year, followed by the industrial goods and automotive sectors. “Job cuts are trending higher overall,” Challenger said in the report. “Manufacturers are grappling with not only technological changes, but also increased competition, tariffs, changes in consumer behavior, and skills shortages.”
The next jobs report will be released August 2, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. EST. In the meantime, see how Monster can help drive job growth at your organization.