It wasn’t too long ago that the United States was in the midst of a terrible economy. Thousands of people were losing their jobs every month, and businesses were no longer growing and hiring. Thankfully we are past those times, with the country continuing to add jobs each month. In fact, these trends are so good, that if you’ve been putting off looking for a job, now is the time to start looking again.
History of Job Growth
Just recently, the United States went through its 86th consecutive month of job growth. This means that in each of those months, the United States added more jobs than it lost. This is by far the longest job-growth streak on record, and there are no signs that this streak will break any time soon. The streak has been going since October 2010, shortly after the financial crisis. And while the amount of jobs we are adding has slowed somewhat of late, we are still adding jobs nonetheless. At the time of the October 2010 jobs report, unemployment stood at 9.4 percent, and now it is so low that economists are wondering just how much lower it can actually go.
Recent Jobs Numbers
Not all of the numbers are rosy however. According to a report this past December, 2017, the number of jobs we expected to add was 190,000. Instead, the U.S only added 148,000. One of the reasons for the disappointing numbers is the growth of online retail stores, and the dwindling of brick and mortar stores. During the busiest time of year for retail stores, as a whole they lost 20,000 jobs, rather than added any. As more people turn to online stores to do their holiday shopping, brick and mortar stores struggle, and as a result the number of employees they need begins to shrink. However, besides the retail store numbers, the rest of the jobs report was actually somewhat promising.
Industries Seeing Growth
So what do these jobs reports mean for you? Well, for starters, it means that you might not want to look for a job in retail. While these jobs may provide you with some short-term prospects, on the whole they seem to be shrinking. If you are looking for a job in which you could have a long-term career, retail might not be the best place to look. There are other industries however that are continuing to add jobs, and so you might want to start your search there.
Online stores might be harming brick and mortar locations, but they are helping other industries. Trucking jobs on the rise, along with warehouse workers who need to get all of the shipments out. Hospitality is also seeing an increase in the number of open positions, as are jobs working with computers. Think about where your interests lie, or what skills you possess, to help determine where you might want to work. And while it’s a good idea to keep the future of that type of work in mind, you shouldn’t let it make the entire decision for you. Stores aren’t going to disappear tomorrow, so if you find a good job that appeals to you, go ahead and take it.
What Will the Economy Look Like Going Forward?
It’s always hard to predict what the future holds. Factors influencing the economy are always changing, and as such it’s hard to make predictions. For example, a new tax law was recently passed, and it remains to be seen how big businesses will respond to it. Will they use their new tax cut to grow their business and hire new employees, or will they use it to enrich their CEOs? Only time will tell, making it important to keep abreast of the world around you.
Regardless of what happens though, the U.S economy is unlikely to tank tomorrow. All signs point towards continued job growth, even if the numbers continue to slow.
Use This Time to Find a Job
Don’t let worries about the economy prevent you from finding a job. There are plenty of sectors that continue to add jobs each month, and this trend looks like it will continue. Even if the economy takes a turn for the worst, it’s better to risk losing a job during bad economic times than to not have one at all. So use this time of economic growth to figure out what you want to do with your career, and hopefully you’ll place yourself in a strong position to hold onto your career for a long time to come, no matter what happens to the economy.