U.S. Economy Continues to Show Strength with Impressive Job Growth
The U.S. economy continues to show its resilience by adding 311,000 jobs last month, surpassing economists’ expectations of 225,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate experienced a slight increase to 3.6%, but this was due to an encouraging rise in labor force participation.
These monthly job gains are well above pre-pandemic levels when roughly 180,000 jobs were added per month between 2010 and 2019, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This impressive job growth is a testament to the ongoing recovery efforts from the pandemic.
Labor turnover data released earlier this week for January showed that there were 1.9 job openings for every person looking for one. This indicates that employers are still struggling to find workers despite the strong job growth. Bank of America data shows these missing workers are primarily older workers with traditionalists and baby boomers making 53% of the workers not returning to work, citing a variety of reasons including retirement, caregiving responsibilities, migration trends, and deteriorating health (both related and unrelated to COVID).
Average hourly earnings grew by 0.2% month-on-month and were up by 4.6% over the year before. This metric is closely watched by the Federal Reserve as it evaluates the impact of rising wages on inflation.
Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in February (+45,000), with a gain of 12,000 in management, scientific, and technical consulting services. Employment in professional and business services had increased by an average of 35,000 per month over the prior 6 months.
Eric Peters, Professional Division President for BGSF said, "Moving into February, organizations began funding for projects and initiatives in technical consulting such as software selection, implementation, and customization. Companies continue to look for ways to improve areas of efficiency and automate processes. With the recent acquisition of Horn Solutions, our firm is well-positioned to meet the demand for resources in areas of business process improvement and management consulting."
The real estate and leasing sector showed signs of their annual seasonal growth adding more than 5,000 jobs and nearly reaching a YOY increase of 70,000 jobs when compared to Feb 2022.
"Supporting our client partners by sharing data around wages is one way that we plan to continue on the path of attracting talent to the careers available in the Property Management segment." Said Kelly Brown, BGSF Real Estate Division President, "This is a key component to remaining competitive as an employer of choice. Our maintenance training platform will empower individuals to secure stronger wages and bring new talent into the industry that may have otherwise chosen other career paths. "
In other positive news, earlier this week the Labor Department reported that quits fell from over 4.1 million in December to 3.9 million in January 2023 with an overall quits rate of 2.5%. This indicates that workers are feeling more confident in their current positions.
Overall, this latest jobs report is another positive sign for the U.S. economy as it continues its strong recovery from the pandemic.
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