Low unemployment and employer confidence has the U.S. job market looking bright
By Mary Anne Thompson, founder, and president, Goinglobal, Inc.
The U.S. employment outlook remains positive, as it has been for several years now, with an average 167,000 new jobs being added per month and an unemployment rate of 4.1%, representing a 16-year low. Thirty percent of employers recently surveyed said they had plans to hire over the coming months – the most optimistic hiring outlook in five years. Hiring plans are strongest in the leisure and hospitality and professional and business services sectors.
Areas of Job Promise
The fastest-growing industries in the US are in professional and business services, information technology, and healthcare. There also is a booming market for temporary workers, with nearly 3 million employed in temporary positions in many different industries. Employment in manufacturing, however, is expected to continue its slow decline.
Employers report their greatest hiring challenge is a lack of qualified applicants. Employers are having the most difficulty filling positions for teachers, skilled trades, drivers, sales representatives, restaurant and hotel staff, laborers, nurses, accounting and finance staff, technicians and engineers.
Skills in Demand
- Technical competencies, or hard skills
- Soft skills, including professionalism and motivation
- Social media skills
- Team players
- Good communication and organization skills
- Critical thinking, creativity, and social skills.
- STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills
The U.S. economy is doing well, and jobs are plentiful in a variety of sectors, particularly in healthcare and IT. The country’s skills shortage has employers searching longer for qualified candidates, however, overall hiring confidence is up. In general, the U.S. job market looks bright, making jobseekers very happy.