While worker pools decrease, employers are hanging on to the employees they have, according to new data.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that first-time claims for jobless benefits fell last week, nearing the record low seen in November. In what is being called “a sign of a healthy labor market,” this is the longest streak since 1970: a whopping 96 weeks with less than 300,000 claims.
— Econoday, Inc. (@Econoday) January 5, 2017
In terms of the job market direction, we are also seeing a decline. The Labor Department uses a four-week moving average to determine the direction of the job market. This moving average dropped 5,750 claims as well, leaving only 256,750.
Additionally, ADP, a payroll processor commonly used as one indicator of employment, reports 153,000 new jobs last month. This is just missing the mark of 172,000 that Econoday predicted, so some media outlets are getting caught up in that discrepancy.
But Econoday reports:
“The labor market is stronger than most assessments with December results well outside top-end estimates and big upward revisions underscoring the strength of prior months.”
In terms of what areas are growing, its exactly as we’d expect:
- Education and healthcare jobs increased by 29,000
- Hotels and restaurant jobs increased by 18,000
- Manufacturing jobs are down by 9,000
- Construction jobs are down 2,000
Forbes however has some insight into these manufacturing losses:
“Manufacturing losing jobs should not be all that much of a surprise…That is, stop looking at cyclical changes in manufacturing employment–it’s in a secular decline.”
Forbes goes on to compare the decline of the manufacturing industry to the decline of agriculture nearly a century ago.
In what might become a very controversial statement, they also claim:
“..it’s going to take a few decades to work through the system but what we’re going to end up with is a manufacturing sector that employs some trivial portion of the workforce, as with agriculture’s 1%, and everyone else is over here in services.”
It is well known that private sector jobs cycle. Looking past that, we’ve seen some pretty fantastic growth overall, which we hope the incoming administration can maintain:
Facing the worst financial crisis in 80 years, you delivered the longest streak of job growth in our history. pic.twitter.com/Vk3PfRgZqF
— President Obama (@POTUS) January 1, 2017
We will miss you Obama!
Feature image via Getty Images/Win McNamee. All rights reserved. Image has been modified from its original form.