What can we expect in 2020 with all-time low unemployment rates?

By Rick Cassidy

The rate of joblessness in the U.S. reached an all-time low in 50 years in September 2019, although job openings in non-farm payrolls spiked by only 136,000. According to the September 27, 2019 report by the U.S. Labor Department, this presents a positive outlook, as it indicates advancements towards a full-employment economy.

The 2019 rate of unemployment dropped by 0.2% in mid-month September, taking the jobless rate to 3.5%. The last time the rate reached such a low was in December 1969. In an extensive study that covered the underemployed and discouraged, employees also showed a 0.3% drop, tallying the same measure 19 years ago, and coming slightly shy of the all-time low of 6.8%.

Following the decrease in joblessness, there was a spike of 136,000 job openings in September. Albeit the measure was lower than the expected increase of 145,000 vacancies, there is a positive outlook to the future of employment in the nation. Considering the upward trend of 45,000 new jobs in the previous months (particularly July and August), the average rate of new job postings has remained impressive over the past 12 months. President Donald Trump has been in office since 2017, and the employment gains in the U.S. have constantly superseded the 100,000 mark for 31 of the 35 months of his tenure thus far. Employers and job applicants have expressed their prospects of getting employed in the future as the report alleviated fears of an imminent recession. However, the decline was not solid enough to compel the Federal Reserve Banks to clamp down rates in October.

How will the 2020 Election Affect the United States Economy?

The current numbers in employment rates show that the U.S. is experiencing a pretty good economy at the moment. Nonetheless, behind these numbers, there is an economic deceleration. That’s a concern, considering we are gearing for the 2020 presidential elections. Why is this so?

First, there was a total of 158,000 jobs created each month for the past half a year as compared to 223,000 new vacancies in the entire 2018. Such a decline is natural because the rate of job creation dwindles when the number of persons to fill up the openings is decreasing.

Secondly, there was a disproportionate growth in employment opportunities across different sectors. Labor-intensive industries experienced the lowest growth in job prevalence. In August 2019, the manufacturing and mining industries recorded relatively slight increases in employment rates, with 3,000 and 5,000 new jobs, respectively. This is due, in part, to President Trump’s trade wars with other nations which has caused a decline in the global demand for manufactured products. If the U.S. had to overcome a recession, it would be because of the thriving domestic service industries.

Particularly, the healthcare industry opened up 37,000 new positions, while the hospitality and leisure sector created 12,000 new jobs. In the following few weeks, most economic analysts will hope to see scary reports about the summer recession, and this is likely to expose several matters of concern.

Notably, the economic status quo is that the economy is steadily falling, but doesn’t present a recession scare. If this trend continues, Democrats will point fingers at the Trump administration for decreasing employee wages and dwindling manufacturing sector. On the other hand, Republicans will boast the lowest job markets and a robust stock market. If the incumbent president stays in office, then the stock exchange will continue to grow at the expense of the ordinary worker. The low growth in wages and a plunging manufacturing sector will continue to grapple the American economy.

Healthcare Job Market Outlook in 2020

As mentioned earlier, active recruitment in the healthcare industry resulted in an additional 37,000 jobs in September 2019. The ambulatory services were the major gainers, having contributed over 28,700 new employment opportunities.

Other sectors that recorded significant numbers of new hires include hospitals (8100 new hires), physician offices (5,200), dentists (900), home health (5,700), nursing homes (2,000), and health practitioners (9,500). If you are hoping to enter the healthcare industry, you may want to concentrate on making applications within these healthcare positions. Other trending healthcare jobs include

  • Physical therapists,
  • Nutritionists,
  • Registered nurses,
  • Pharmacists,
  • Health record technicians
  • Lab technologists

With the increasing number of persons entering the healthcare industry, employers are beginning to focus much on the financial and environmental factors that influence the benefits they offer to both their employees and consumers.

Critical Aspects for Healthcare Employers

  1. Employee Health

According to the “2020 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey” by the National Business Group on Health, many of the large brands in the healthcare industry provide health insurance to their employees and their dependent family members. The survey sampled 147 large health companies.

The NBGH report found out that most healthcare providers offered their employee health coverage on HDHP-only (High Deductible Health Plan) basis. However, 11% of the respondent reported having started offering optional HDHP. The main reason for this shift is to take care of employees suffering from chronic conditions and related medical costs.

Healthcare employees with HDHPs were also found difficulties handling medical expenses for their chronic ailments. Fifty percent of employees said that they found it challenging to afford the money to cater for their healthcare.

  1. Food

Another opportunity that employers could focus on is providing quality food for the staff. The best they (healthcare companies) can do is to offer vending machines and on-site cafeterias where employees can access cheap nutritious meals. Furthermore, employers can partner with local grocery stores for discounted prices on fresh grocery and ready-to-eat meals for their staff members.

  1. Other Macro Trends

Other environmental factors that shape both the physical and financial health of the employees should be addressed. Such challenges include low wages, affordable housing opportunities, and transportation. To effectively address these issues, the private and public health sectors must work collectively. Besides, when employees’ needs are met, they become more productive. Eventually, the positive health outcomes trickle down to the community.

How About Technology and Engineering Industries?

The rate of employment in the professional and business services sector also experienced an increase in job openings. In September, the industry added 34,000 jobs. With an average of 35,000 vacancies every month in 2019, this represented a decrease since the monthly average in 2018 was 47,000 jobs per month. According to reports, offshoring of programming specialists will affect the technology industry. However, with the increasing demand for healthcare IT solutions and mobile technology, the need for software developers is expected to increase in 2020.

The expansion rate of the industry is expected to rise by an average of 22% in 2020, with the most increase expected among software developers (30% increase). The top occupations in the technology sector to look out for include:

  • Database administrators
  • IT Managers
  • Information Security Specialists
  • Software Developers
  • Computer Systems analysts

Although the IT scene is one of the fastest-growing industries, the civil and petroleum industries also continue to have high demand. By 2020, there is a projected rise of 2 million jobs in the architectural and engineering sectors. Other sub-sectors within the engineering industry include

  • Biomedical engineering
  • Marine engineering
  • Environmental engineering.

Depending on your field of specialization, your engineering career can turn out to be a success, because engineering positions offer lucrative wages. Annually, professional engineers earn between $60,000 – $120,000, depending on the stage of their career.

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About Sky Search Partners

Rick Cassidy, Sky Search Partners president, founded the firm for one primary reason: We love putting people to work. Sky Search Partners has developed a rigorous platform for engaging, researching, and connecting with the most successful executive talent. The firm executes with a laser focus on to identify candidates precisely aligned to search specifications. A proven formula of integrity and “people first” enables it to build trusted relationships with organizations and top-tier talent across key disciplines, job titles, national markets, and industry classes. This enables client organizations to create their “dream team,” especially in highly competitive environments where results are imperative.

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