So the US jobs market knocked it out of the park in January 2017 with 227,000 jobs added. This is an average of 183,000 jobs per month for the past quarter. With 4.8 Unemployment rate and the employment ratio almost hitting 60% the market for talent, especially college and university education, remains very tight. An interesting story also emerges when we look at the sectors where employment increased.
Tens of thousands of jobs were created in professional services, retail trade, health care, food, financial and construction. With over 36,000 new jobs in construction with residential building adding 9,000 jobs, and residential specialty trade contractors 11,000. Over the past 12 months, the construction sector alone has added 170,000 jobs.
Not only is Construction up but when we look at the other sectors retail in electronics and appliance was up 8,000, furnishings 6,000, real estate 10,000 and insurance 9,000. These start to look residential construction related. It would be good to see Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities and Infastructure/Commercial employment be on the rise as well as this would be a great sign for the US economy.
Interestingly for companies in these sectors to add management and skilled employees it is becoming increasingly difficult. The unemployment rate for those with some college or associate degree is 3.8 percent and those with a Bachelors degree or higher is 2.5%. If infrastructure replacement ramps up it will be difficult to recruit top staff and the US may lean on Canada to supply Management and Engineering staff through NAFTA and Canadian construction and engineering companies.
Hopefully, the February 2017 Department of Bureau of Labor Statistics report will be just as rosy and we’ll see HUGE employment numbers continue throughout 2018!