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2018 US Jobs Outlook

Whether you’re a candidate looking for a new job or a growing business in need of a recruitment agency, it’s important that your vision for the future is grounded in the realities facing your industry and the economy. Here we’ve gathered the most recent expectations for employment and hiring in the US through 2018:

Strong Economic Forecasts with Caveats

US employment figures rebounded in October after a drop in September following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The country added 261,000 jobs in October, which was the biggest employment increase in more than a year. However, average monthly job growth between August and October was lower than the average monthly job growth throughout 2016, a slow-down experts link to the difficulties employers face finding qualified workers.1

The national unemployment rate dipped to 4.1 percent in October, which is its lowest level since 2000.2 A broader unemployment measure that includes people who want to work but stopped searching and those who work part-time but cannot find full-time jobs, also dropped to 7.9 percent in October, the lowest level since the end of 2006.3

Sluggish wage growth takes some of the sheen off the strong jobs outlook, however, because consumer spending will likely slow down as well if wages remain weak.4

According to the US Department of Commerce, the economy grew at an annual rate of 3.3 percent. The pending changes to the tax code are expected to have a strong and lasting impact on the economy. Proponents of the plan say lower corporate and individual tax rates will further stimulate the economy as people spend more money and companies grow and add jobs. Critics say the tax plan will damage the economy by raising the national debt. The Federal Reserve has said stimulus measures that coincide with an already strong economy will likely cause inflation.5

The tight labor market that companies have grappled with for the past few years is also expected to continue through 2018, with the US hovering within range of full employment. A tight labor market is a candidate’s market with valuable talent often deciding between multiple offers. Job switching is on the rise as people seek to boost their salaries at a faster rate than they would if they waited for their annual increases. Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta showed that people who changed jobs enjoyed .9 percent higher wage growth than those who stayed at their jobs.6

Occupations Expected to Grow

A wide range of industries encompass the jobs the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will grow the most between 2016 and 2026. Over that period, financial manager positions are projected to grow by 14.8 percent, accountant and auditor jobs by 10 percent, customer service representatives by 4.9 percent, marketing specialists by 22.8 percent, business operations specialists by 8.8 percent, and sales representatives by 9.6 percent.7

Growth in Demand for New College Grads

According to an annual survey by Michigan State University, employers expect to hire 13 percent more college graduates over the next year than they did last year. Employers in the information services sector, which includes tech and telecommunications, expect to increase their new grad hiring by 60 percent this year compared to last. Other industries hiring the most people with fresh bachelor’s degrees next year include administrative services, which is expected to grow by 46 percent, and professional, business and scientific services, which is expected to grow by 30 percent.8


1 Mutikani, Lucia. "U.S. Job Growth Picks Up; Flat Wages Raise Consumer Spending Worries" Reuters. Web. 3 Nov 2017.
2 Casselman, Ben. "The U.S. Added 261,000 Jobs in October; Here's the Upshot." The New York Times. Web. 3 Nov 2017.
3 Mutikani, Lucia. "U.S. Job Growth Picks Up; Flat Wages Raise Consumer Spending Worries" Reuters. Web. 3 Nov 2017.
4 Ibid.
5 Tankersley, Jim and Applebaum, Binyamin. "Trump Sells 'Rocket Fuel' Tax Plan as Economy Strengthens." The New York Times. 29 Nov 2017.
6 Laya, Patricia and Flatley, Daniel. "It's Boom Times for Recruiters After U.S. Job Market Tightens." Bloomberg. Web. 6 July 2017.
7 Occupations with the Most Job Growth, Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
8 Kauflin, Jeff. "The Industries Hiring the Most College Grads in 2018." Forbes. Web. 24 Oct 2017.


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