The economy looks to be in full swing, as job seekers found more employment opportunities than analysts had predicted would be available. On Nov. 6, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report and informed the public that the number of jobs added in October rose to 271,000. Previous predictions placed October's job growth at around 180,000, as U.S. News & World Report pointed out.
In August and September, the economy failed to add at least 200,000 jobs, according to U.S. News. The sectors that saw gains were professional and business services, health care, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and construction.
Professional and business services and health care in particular saw extensive growth, with 95,000 and 45,000 jobs added, respectively.
Jobs opening up at an increasing rate
This year has proved to be extremely eye opening for employment gains. Just four months ago, July set a record high with 5.7 million available jobs, according to the BLS. The previous record of 5.4 million was set in May 2015, U.S. News pointed out. The most recent jobs report serves as further proof that the market is stronger than it has been in the years since the recession.
"It was pretty much everything you could ask for in a jobs report," said Michelle Meyer, deputy head of United States economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, to The New York Times. "Not only was the headline number strong, but there were upward revisions for prior months, the unemployment rate fell and wage growth accelerated."
While numbers have been solid this year, job gains will have to double in November and December to match the 3.12 million jobs added in 2014. Currently, the economy is at 2.06 million, based on numbers available at the BLS website, with two months to go in the year. What has analysts worried though, is that most of the jobs are either going to high earners or minimum wage workers, leaving the middle class with fewer available options.
"The average wage in the United States is $25.20 an hour."
"While this month's numbers are good, job growth has yet to deliver sustained wage gains that working people need to lead better lives," William E. Spriggs, AFL-CIO Chief Economist, said in an AFL-CIO blog. "This means we face the deeper challenge of fashioning policy changes to create the institutional structure for shared prosperity; aggressive, progressive solutions, not corporate driven trade deals."
With job gains present and visible, the future looks less pessimistic than it has been in recent year. The average wage currently sits at $25.20 an hour for the nation - about $4 more than it was in 2006, according to the BLS.
Unemployment steadily decreasing
There are a few areas of the country that have seen a steady decline in unemployment over the past few months, as observed by the BLS.
The District of Columbia had a 0.8 percent drop in unemployment between the months of April and September. This undoubtedly had an effect on the District's civilian labor force, which rose 1,600 persons in those same months.
The unemployment rate in Providence, Rhode Island, has dropped by 0.7 percent, while also decreasing 0.7 percent for the state as a whole. This comes with an increased employment gain of 4,400 workers for the entire state, according to the BLS.
For the whole nation, the unemployment rate has been consistently falling over the past few years, according to the BLS. Ever since the rate hit a high of 10 percent in 2009, it has averaged a 1 percent drop-off every year since then. In October it reached 5.0 percent, meaning it could dip into the 4 percent range soon. This is coupled with a growth in average wage that has consistently been rising since as far back as 2006.
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