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Jobs Snapshot: Low Unemployment, Ghosting, & Robots

Are you confident in the current labor market?

by Countable | 12.17.18

  • Employers added 155,000 jobs to the U.S. economy in November, according to the most recent jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The figures showed that the U.S. economy continues to expand, although they lagged economists’ projections that 198,000 new positions would be created. Wages also grew more slowly than expected.
  • Nevertheless, the Federal Reserve has identified a growing trend of workers "ghosting" their employers, in a novel if ill-mannered sign of a strong jobs market.

The details

Our partners at USAFacts, a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative aimed at making government data accessible and understandable, have crunched the jobs numbers to provide a really interesting snapshot of U.S. employment today and how it has evolved since 1966.

  • At 3.7 percent, the unemployment rate is near historical lows.

Source: USAFacts

  • The proportion of people working part-time despite seeking full-time employment is also relatively low at 3 percent.
  • The strongest employment increase since last year has been in the mining and logging sector at 7.6 percent, followed by construction at 4 percent, according to USAFacts.
  • The strongest wage growth since last year has been in IT at 5.57 percent, followed by construction at 3.7 percent.
  • The year-on-year wage growth was the strongest it’s been in a decade, but when inflation is taken into account, it weakens considerably to just 0.6 percent.

Related trends

Meanwhile, reports of workers “ghosting” their employers — leaving without a word — are so high that the Federal Reserve took note of the phenomenon in its Beige Book. Analysts ascribe this in part to the increasingly tight labor market.

Companies like Amazon and Walmart are adding more robots to their operations. They say their automation efforts will create new jobs, but critics expect the opposite effect.

As the labor market tightens, more women are taking jobs in traditionally male-dominated fields. In the past two years, women’s employment grew by more than 10 percent in construction, mining, and transportation and utilities.

What do you think?

Are you confident in the current labor market? Why or why not? Tell your reps what you think, then share your thoughts below.

—Sara E. Murphy

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Tempura

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(76)
  • OlderNWiser
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    My window on employment is from family and friends—necessarily limited numbers—but proven skills synthesizing information show this to be slanted stats. The people I know are unemployed or direly under employed and virtually everyone seems stressed and overworked while underpaid, a corporatocracy profits-above-all condition. The top 2% are flourishing.

    Like (18)
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  • Steven
    Voted Yes
    12/17/2018
    ···

    A lot better than the Obama years

    Like (7)
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  • Larry
    12/17/2018
    ···

    Unemployment is only low as wages stay stagnant in a world of inflation.

    Like (6)
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  • Ed
    Voted Maybe
    12/18/2018
    ···

    Silly question. Economics is like politics, culture, climate and most other things - it never stays the same. To say you're confident in any aspect of modern life is proof of foolishness. Best approach is save what you can so you can weather the next cycle.

    Like (2)
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  • Leslie
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    The ONLY REASON the GOP can say we have RECORD UNEMPLOYMENT is because as soon as you run out of your 13 weeks of unemployment, you aren't included! LYING ASSHOLES

    Like (9)
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  • Christopher
    12/17/2018
    ···

    We are just one crisis away from job losses and it has a lot to do with the current Administration and Majority in Congress. Stability is the only assurance of confidence in the economy.

    Like (4)
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  • Caren
    Voted Yes
    12/17/2018
    ···

    Yes, TODAY I am happy and pleased with the jobs market and glad there are people who are working. I hope this continues. Sadly, we have the tax happy Democrats to be concerned with and those who would advocate for socialism and fully destroy the country.

    Like (4)
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  • Brian
    Voted Maybe
    12/18/2018
    ···

    I'm confident that there are job openings and the labor market seems strong. However, I'm still concerned about all the jobs that are becoming obsolete and our country's inability to retrain people for the jobs of tomorrow so that they can move into new roles in industries that are rising. We have not been doing a very good job of this, as evidenced by all the people clutching their fossil fuel and manufacturing jobs (which admittedly pay very well) in the face of a changing economy. We need to transition to well-paying jobs in the tech and service industries to keep people employed, or we're going to face massive unemployment and underemployment in the next 10-20 years. We also are going to have large shortages of workers in the trades, healthcare, and education industries, and we need to do a better job of training people to work there. Our secondary and higher education institutions need to help prepare workers to move into the up and coming openings.

    Like (1)
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  • Lionman
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    The ‘Ghosting’ along should lift concerns, because workers are leaving jobs because: 1.) The money isn’t good enough. 2.) The benefits aren’t good enough. 3.) The boss or environment isn’t to their liking. These things keep happening, so what does that say to the jobs they’re getting? Full employment isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There are all these jobs at the bottom of the rungs that aren’t desirable, and I suspect our the source of most of the ‘Ghosting’ we’re seeing.

    Like (7)
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  • Page
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    What I see is people working two or three jobs to make ends meet. That means wages are too low, families are all working up to 80 hours per week and no one is raising the children. Wages need to come up substantially. One way to start is by raising the minimum wage.

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  • Ray
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    Lots of companies including mine have been laying people off. Not sure where this robust economy is coming from. The stock market had been going down since November. Job growth on mining? There are alternative energies available, why are we continually destroying our planet?

    Like (6)
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  • DrCindyBean
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    trump’s trying to destroy USA and EU and NATO. So no, no confidence in labor market. Look at stock market right now. Not great.

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  • Delmar
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    The corporations are doing everything then can to get labor on the cheap and don’t want to pay a living wage! On top of that they also are looking towards automation to remove the human aspect of manufacturing. Someone’s got to fix the automation when it breaks!!

    Like (5)
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  • Chris-Breseman
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    Any time McConnell and his band of thugs are in control of the economy, I’m never confident. #FuckRepublicans

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  • Thomas
    Voted Yes
    12/17/2018
    ···

    The labor market is stronger than EVER!!!

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  • Nathan
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    The GOP tax cuts are I unsustainable. Health care is being attacked. Trade wars have no winners. The GOP owns the impending disaster and the Democrats will clean it up, as always.

    Like (4)
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  • Ellen
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    Who can be confident now? The country is run by a toddler and his helpers

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  • Joel
    Voted Yes
    12/18/2018
    ···

    If President Bone Spurs gets his wall, it will be the first structure ever with both a "Help Wanted" and "Keep Out" sign. President Collusion's paranoia about a non existent border invasion is crippling our country's economy. The problem isn't at the border, it's with the 12,000,000 illegal immigrants currently living in our country. FIX IMMIGRATION LAWS NOW & STOP LOCKING UP FAMILIES!

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  • Tinee
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    I know for a fact job creation, job retention is being prevented. Homeless encampments are growing by the day. I know this because I have been documenting several sites. On area that only took 1 block now takes up 5 blocks. Just about everyone I talked to said getting & keeping a job while homeless is challenging. You have to keep everything you own with you. Washing themselves or their clothes is sometimes impossible. No one wants a dirty person working for them.

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  • Blair
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    Unemployment rates mean nothing when wages have been stagnant or HAVE FALLEN for the past almost 2 fucking decades. We need a new federal minimum wage and for workers to actually be valued.

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  • Phillip
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    Because as the tariffs take hold and global trade slows there will be layoffs add in people working multiple jobs and the fact there was only a 0.6 increase in real wages and you have a revolt on your hands. Time for unionization again. It’s the 1890s again and the robber barons need a lesson.

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  • Steve
    Voted No
    12/17/2018
    ···

    Republicans have made everything hostile with their hate and

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