The August jobs report: Hiring rides the summer roller coaster

Oct 17, 2017 | Article

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the American economy added roughly 156,000 jobs in August, down from 209,000 jobs added in July.

Since the beginning of the year, the U.S. economy has added over 1 million jobs. It's an impressive figure, but many experts wonder if this growth will slow down. As the country nears full employment, or as close to full employment as is possible, the inevitability of stagnating economic growth becomes more likely.

Let's take a look at the numbers from August.

August was a slow month for job growth

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the American economy added roughly 156,000 jobs in August, down from 209,000 jobs added in July. While the difference is notable, hiring tends to ease up during the summer months as hiring managers leave for vacation.

This slower growth has caused the unemployment rate to tick up slightly, to 4.4 percent - still an impressive figure compared to recent years.

It's important to note that one stagnant month means very little on its own. Especially with the holiday season ahead of us, it's likely that more jobs will be added in the coming months.

Here are the job sectors that saw the most new jobs in August:

  • Healthcare: Of the 20,000 health care jobs added, 6,000 were in hospitals.
  • Professional and technical services: Added 22,000 jobs, with 8,000 going to the computer systems design industry.
  • Construction: This sector's growth continues to hold steady with 28,000 jobs added in August.
  • Manufacturing: The clear winner in August, manufacturing added 36,000 jobs. The biggest gains were seen in the automotive and auto parts sectors.

While job growth declined somewhat in August, average payrolls went up by three cents to $26.39 per hour. If hiring trends go down and unemployment remains steady, American workers could see this figure rise even more during the remainder of the year.

The manufacturing industry saw the most job growth in August.The manufacturing industry saw the best job growth in August.

Job seekers shouldn't worry yet

CNN reported that the U.S. has the highest number of job openings ever, with roughly 6.2 million open positions in June. So why is hiring down?

Simply put, skilled workers are likely already employed, which means employers have to look longer and harder to find qualified candidates. Job seekers who lack specialized skills might see more opportunities open up for them, but they may have to accept a lower salary to get those jobs, as they will require additional training.

America's economy moves slowly, and it will take more than a single month's data to make long-term predictions. Job seekers shouldn't worry too much about their prospects, but they should consider meeting with an expert recruiter to streamline their job search strategies.

Which jobs have the highest demand?

If you look at Glassdoor's list of most in-demand jobs that pay over $100,000, you'll notice that the majority are highly specialized positions such as pharmacist, engineering manager and software engineer.

These positions require an advanced education and years of experience. To gain a competitive advantage in the hiring arena, job seekers need someone on their side who can guide them through a rigorous interview process.

To learn how the expert recruiters at Beacon Hill Staffing Group can help you find the job of your dreams, contact us today.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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