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The 2018 Mid-Year 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 for the remainder of 2018:

Lowest Unemployment in Nearly 50 Years

The unemployment rate dipped to a historic low of 3.8 percent in May. The jobless rate has not been this low since 2000, and hasn’t dropped under 3.8 percent since 1969. US employers added 223,000 jobs in May, making it a record-breaking 92 months in a row the economy has gained jobs.1

The drop in unemployment is spanning demographics, with the jobless rate for women, African Americans, Latinos, and workers over age 24 with no high school diploma reaching or verging on record lows.2

The sluggish growth in wages that has stubbornly persisted since the Great Recession is finally showing signs of improvement, with private sector wages growing almost 3 percent through 2017. Comparatively, annual wage growth hovered around 2 percent from 2010 through 2016. High earners and low earners are experiencing the bulk of the recent wage gains, while the wages of middle class workers have yet to budge.3

Economists say the unemployment rate could drop even lower in the coming months, and the tight talent market of the past few years is expected to continue through the remainder of 2018 and into 2019. To draw and retain job candidates, recruiters and hiring managers are allowing promising hires the opportunity to skill up on the job, offering competitive benefits, and tapping new labor pools, such as veterans and older workers.4

Robust Growth in Business Services, Manufacturing, and Logistics Industries providing services are projected to enjoy the fastest employment growth between 2016 and 2026, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among them are information services (4 percent job growth projected through 2026), management, scientific, and technical consulting services (2.1 percent), office administrative services (2.1 percent), warehousing and storage (2 percent), computer systems design (2 percent), and software publishers (1.8 percent).5

In March, 2018, private manufacturing operations across the US saw the largest increase in employment in three years, according to an analysis by payroll firm Automatic Data Processing, Inc., and Moody’s Analytics. Other industries showing strong jobs growth were construction, professional business services, and trade, transportation and utilities, with midsized companies adding almost half of all the new positions, according to the report.6

Data scientists are experiencing the single fastest growing job market according to LinkedIn. Since 2012, the profession has grown by 650 percent.7

There’s also been a boom in hiring among logistics operations across the US, with the industry adding 18,700 jobs in May, and 73,000 jobs so far in 2018. This expanded hiring comes as retail companies seek to stay competitive in the ecommerce marketplace.8 Last week, Home Depot announced a $1.2 billion plan to streamline its logistics infrastructure to meet shifting customer expectations.9


1 Morath, Eric and Chaney, Sarah. ͞"Unemployment Rate Falls to 18-Year Low; Solid Hiring in May" The Wall Street Journal. Web. 1 June 2018.
2 Ibid
3 Horowitz, Evan. "Wages are Finally Rising at a Healthy Clip — Except for Middle-Class Workers." The Boston Globe. Web. 30 April 2018.
4 Adams, Kimberly and Mills, Eliza. "4 Ways a Tight Labor Market Affects Hiring/" Marketplace. Web. 2 March 2018.
5 "Industries with the Fastest Growing and Most Rapidly Declining Wage and Salary Employment." United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web. 24 Oct 2017.
6 Hufford, Austen. "Manufacturing Industry Has Strongest Jobs Increase in Three Years." The Wall Street Journal. Web. 4 April 2018.
7 Segarra, Lisa Marie. ͞"This Is the Fastest Growing Job in America. Here’s How Much It Pays." Fortune. Web. 5 April 2018.
8 Phillips, Erica E. "Logistics Hiring Surged in May on Growing Freight Demand." The Wall Street Journal. 1 June 2018.
9 Smith, Jennifer. "Home Depot Sets $1.2 Billion Supply-Chain Overhaul." The Wall Street Journal. Web. 11 June 2018.

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