JOBS AND RECOVERY

The last time the County had a disappointing job report was in March, 2015. USA Today, Journal News on April 4, 2015 published an article by John Waggoner entitled” March jobs report falls flat”. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the US economy created 126,000 new jobs in March, the lowest since December, 2013 and far below estimates of 248,000 new jobs. However, the unemployment rate remained at 5.5%. in this report. The article concludes that the Federal government is unlikely to raise interest rates.

In an article in USA Today Money, Paul Davidson, points out that job seekers should think small. Small business hiring is picking up. Firms with fewer than 50 employees is likely to prop up a labor market. ADP in April stated small businesses added a solid 103,000 jobs in February and 108,000 in March as payroll growth in larger companies slowed. The Labor Department more closely watched employment reports in March of just 126,000 jobs, down from 264,000 in February. The National Federation of Independent Businesses says small businesses added an average of 0.18 workers per firm in March. One of the best readings in the last decade.

In the Westchester Business Journal on April 27, 2015, an article was published by Reece Alvarez keeping track of New York State Department of Labor and reports that in March, 2015, an unemployment rate hit its lowest since August, 2008. In March, the private section in New York State increased by 8,600 or .1%. The jobless rate dropped to 5.7% from 5.8% in February, 2015 and from 6.6% in March, 2014. New York State unemployment rate of 5.7% is slightly above the nation’s rate of 5.5%. Westchester, Rockland & Orange Counties had the second fastest growing private sector job growth (behind Kingston) in the Hudson Valley.

By industry, the Labor department, said private education and health servers add the most jobs (50,000) of any major industry sector. Specifically, in health care and social assistance (42,900) and ambulatory health care services (24,500), professional and business services had the second largest increase in jobs (32,000) between March, 2014 and March, 2015, mostly in professional, scientific and technical services (22,300), especially in computer systems designs and related services, 9000 according to the Labor Department. One of the issues that has been affecting Westchester, Orange & Rockland County areas is quite a few losses in the blue collar sector, and manufacturing. Wholesale trading is also declining over the past 12 months. Manufacturing lost the most jobs (1800) than any other major industry section in New York State. Sector losses were centered in non-deliverable goods (2000) especially apparel. Manufacturing (1100) as well as national resources and mining lost 200 jobs over the past year.

On Saturday, May 9, 2015 in USA Today – Journal News by John Waggoner, wrote an article entitled “Jobs news great for investors”. 223,000 new jobs show just the right amount of growth. The unemployment rate is at 5.4% which is the lowest since May, 2008. Stock investors likes the signs of a growing economy. Professional and business services added 62,000 jobs in April and health care added 45,000 jobs. Construction added 45, 000 jobs which are good jobs that pay well.

Unfortunately, the March report was revised down to 85,000 jobs from 126,000. Manufacturing added just 1000 jobs and the oil sector lost 3000 jobs. The April report didn’t add much pressure to the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. For investors, the April job reports was the best of all worlds. It showed decent hiring but nothing so great that would push the Feds to tap the brakes.

In an article in USA Today, The Journal News on May 11, 2015 Paul Davidson claimed job growth in April, 2015 shifted to higher paying positions. Professional and business services, construction and health care led to the solid 223,000 job increase. Professional and business services added 62,000 jobs in April with strong advances in computer systems design, management and technical consulting and architectural and engineering services.

The construction industry added 45,000 jobs, the most in 15 months and its payrolls are up 4.6% in the past 12 months, compared to a 2.2% rise for total United States employment. Average hourly earnings in the sector are $2.41 per hour higher than the average for all private sector workers. Contractors shed 2 million workers in the recession but in April, the number of unemployed construction workers looking for jobs hit a 10 year low of 652,000, down from 796,000, a year ago. Ken Simonson, Chief Economist of the Trade Groups Association with General Contractors lost 2 million workers in the recession, but in April, the number of construction workers looking for a job hit a 10 year low. Construction firms will add 325,000 jobs this year matching strong growth of 2014.

Healthcare is hiring at a brisker pace. The health care industry added 225,000 jobs the past six months, up from 164,000, the previous six months. Retail added just 12,100 jobs in April, leisure and hospitability added 17,000 jobs with 24,000 monthly additions for 2015.

Finally, on Tuesday, August 18, 2015, USA Today – The Journal News published an article by Paul Davidson who concludes that higher paying jobs have grown the fastest in the economic recovery. The report by Georgetown University Center on education and workforce says its finding are more accurate than prior analysis of lower paid jobs. Nearly 3 million or 44% of the jobs added from 2010 to 2014 were high paying positions with salaries above $53,000 per year. Only 1.9 million or 29% of newly formed jobs were middle wage ($32,000 to $53,000) and 1.8 million or 27% were low wage (less than $32,000). The findings are consistent with the need for skilled workers who can operate new technologies and with the notion such employees are typically the last to be fired in a recession and the first hired in recovery.

The employment gains most prominently reported each month by The Labor Department and analyzed by The National Employment Law Project shows the total number of jobs created by each industry. It found that high paying jobs added in the recovery were mostly filled by managers and workers in health care and science technology, engineering and math. Blue collar jobs in manufacturing and construction as well as position in community services and education comprised most of the middle wage jobs created. The low wage positions were largely filled by workers in food and personal services, sales and office support. The nation has more than recovered the low and high wage jobs lost in the recession. However, there were still 900,000 fewer mid wage jobs at the end of 2014 which includes many manufacturing positions that were outsourced.