Since the start of Spark News, we have been reporting on the health and status of our job market. While we have reported on the ups and downs through the months, it seems that the last couple of weeks have been a bit depressing. Of course, we are only reporting on the facts, but the facts also show that we have made great improvements over the past year or so. To make sure we all realize this, The Street devised a list of 10 signs the job market is indeed improving. We have hit on a couple of these improvements already, but it never hurts to throw a big ball of optimism your way, does it? We think not. So, take a look at these signs the job market is improving and realize that that glass is still half full!
Even though the last jobs report for March didn’t do much for our optimism, know that there are signs of life in this mess of a job market we have.
According to the Labor Department’s reports, we have added jobs to the market for the past 18 months. This seems like something that should be expected and standard, but when our market took a huge tumble a couple years ago we were seeing losses- not gains. So a year and a half of job gains is a great boost to our job market’s ego.
Company’s planned lay-offs have hit a 10-month low. With this past March job report, planned lay-offs have decreased 27 percent from February.
Ratio of Jobs to Unemployed
As The Streets points out, the ratio of available jobs to unemployed job seekers has improved a significant amount. This past March, 11 out of the 50 cities that were studied had a one-to-one ratio. A year ago, it was only four of those cities. According to the Labor Department, the national ratio is 3.7 people for each available job.
The hospitality and food service industry was hit hard during the recession. However, all signs point to improvement. This past March showed a 48 percent increase in jobs listings since March of last year.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits have hit a three year low. The seasonally adjusted number fell to 357,000 last week. That is the lowest number we have seen since April of 2008. Of course, we can’t take much weight in this since it is likely that those that were on benefits for two years simply used all of their benefits until they ran out. There is a cut-off date for those that are on unemployment benefits and when they run out, you can’t apply again. Not to burst the optimism bubble here, but those that ran the course of their unemployment benefits are likely still employed but just no longer included in the figures.
The Street reports that the national wage growth is back up to pre-recession levels. The wage growth is currently at its highest numbers since end of 2008.
Worker Satisfaction More Important
As The Street points out, the number of people that are leaving their jobs to find a better one has increased. This means that more people feel better about the stability of the job market and will no longer stay at a job they hate just because it’s a job. The Labor Department states that the number of people who voluntarily quit their jobs jumped 4 percent. When you think there are no other jobs out there for you, you will likely put up with an unsatisfactory job for longer. When there are more jobs, it’s much easier to say “I QUIT!” to that awful job you have. Great for employees, possibly not so great for employers. This also means that employers will likely have to make sure their employees are more satisfied now since the market isn’t as shaky as it was before.
So, keep your heads up friends. There are still improvements to be made, but take a moment and bask in the joy of these improvements before you start getting down on yourself about the setbacks and keep on truckin’!