While job gains were lower than expected in the July jobs report for 2018, unemployment has dropped to 3.9% (from 4% last month) and employment is looking good overall. There were 157,000 jobs added last month, which is below the expected 195,000. But there is still plenty of good news for the job market and this is projected to be merely temporary. Unemployment is at an almost 5 decade low, and we are in the second longest economic recovery on record. Below are some more details on the July jobs report 2018:
- The reasons for the job losses are mostly due to local governments cutting back (probably thanks to school being out for the summer) and Toys R ‘US having gone bankrupt, closing more than 800 stores and putting 30,000 workers out of a job.
- But retail jobs are still doing well thanks to a boom in consumer spending. There have been 96,000 jobs added in the past twelve months, which is an increase from last year.
- The retail sectors that added the most jobs were general merchandise (14,000 jobs) and clothing and accessories (10,000 jobs).
- Also, because of the economic boom businesses are investing in and improving their facilities and buying new equipment. As a result, construction (19,000) and manufacturing (37,000) saw a lot of job gains.
- So far this year, there have been 1.5 million jobs added.
More Pay, More Opportunities
In industries like retail, workers are getting more hours, resulting in more pay. According to an article from Citizentribune.com, as the shortage of talent continues, many businesses are also converting part-time workers and freelancers to full time. And as you can see above, in the July jobs report for 2018 the jobs with the most gains are those that focus on skills and less on education. This is great news for workers without a college degree or high school diploma. According to CNBC.com, unemployment for job seekers 25 years and older without a college degree or high school diploma has decreased significantly over the past couple of years. In June 2018 it was 5.5%, and back in September 2016 it was 8.5%.
A New Trend: No Experience Necessary
A new trend has sparked up among employers: no experience necessary. According to the Wall Street Journal, employers are forgoing requirements for college degrees and specific skills to broaden their pool of talent. They are also loosening up on job requirements regarding criminal records and credit scores. Employers are completely re-evaluating job postings, hoping to make many more job seekers eligible.
This is great news for Americans just entering the job market or looking to change careers. Now they have opportunities in front of them that they could never have dreamed of before. To thrive in this job market, job seekers should focus on soft skills. If they are applying for customer facing positions, they should show employers they are personable, able to hold intelligent conversations and read the emotions of others. Other soft skills required for most jobs are the ability to adapt to different environments, work in a team and arrive to work on time.
Overall, the July jobs report for 2018 brings more good news, particularly to retail, construction and manufacturing. An improving economy is always a plus for both job seekers and employers. The only challenge is employers must be less picky if they want to get their job openings filled.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.