Jobs Report Quells Market, But Older Workers Miss Out
After days of worrying economic news that culminated in a late-in-the-week stock market plunge, all eyes were on Friday's monthly jobs report, which proved better than expected. The nation posted a net gain of 117,000 new positions in July, an improvement over the past two months.
The job news for people over 45 wasn't as good. Last month's overall U.S. jobless rate improved slightly, to 9.1 percent from 9.2 percent the previous month, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. But overall unemployment for people over 45 rose to 7.2 percent in July, from 6.9 percent in June and 6.6 percent in May and April, and currently equals the March rate.
While the jobless rate remained steady at 7.3 percent for people 45 to 54, results were worse for older workers. The unemployment rate for people 55 to 64 jumped to 7.5 percent in July from 6.9 percent the previous month, and for people 65 and older rose to 6.7 percent from 6.4 percent.
With the acrimonious debt-ceiling debate behind him, President Obama promised to turn his attention to creating jobs. In a Rose Garden speech earlier in the week, Obama vowed to push Congress to consider various job-boosting measures, including extending middle-class tax cuts and trade deals, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Weak job growth remains a huge problem that economists fear could signal a double-dip recession.
Here's what else is making news on the job front:
Health care leads all hiring. Hiring in a handful of industries remains robust despite lingering joblessness in other sectors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, July's job growth was spurred by hiring in health care, retail, manufacturing and mining, offsetting a continued decline in government hiring. Online job board Indeed reported a record number of health-care job listings in July based on an 8 percent jump from the previous month. Medical assistant, pharmacy technician and registered nurse positions were Indeed's most popular health-care job listings, based on page views. According to job-board search engine SimplyHired, the country's top hiring company in July was hospital giant HCA, which had 21,878 openings, up 11.7 percent from June and 109.9 percent from a year ago. SimplyHired's other top hirers for the month were: Valley Health, which posted 16,839 jobs, Michaels Arts & Crafts (13,465 jobs), Macy's (11,854 jobs) and H&R Block (9,617 jobs).
Location matters. Although the nation's overall jobless rate has been stuck at higher than 8 percent since February 2009, employment in some states and metro areas has remained substantially lower, or has improved faster than the rest of the country. Texas, for example, has added 262,000 jobs since the recession officially ended in June 2009, approximately half of all new positions in the country, according to USA Today. In Houston, job openings have risen 34.8 percent, in Dallas/Fort Worth 28.8 percent and in San Antonio 20.4 percent in the past 12 months, according to SimplyHired. Ten states, among them Virginia, Oklahoma and Vermont, have a jobless rate of 6 percent or lower, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Online job hunting is booming. In an age when many companies won't consider a job candidate if they're not on LinkedIn, using social networks to job hunt has turned from option to necessity. LinkedIn recently made it easier for users to apply for jobs, adding a one-click method for job seekers to send their profile and contact information to a hiring company. In addition to LinkedIn, job seekers are using Twitter chats to track trends and companies that are hiring, as well as to network with recruiters and fellow job seekers. They're also taking part in web-based virtual career fairs, where they can upload their resumes and do interviews with recruiters via live chat or webcam.
Previous Post: Happy Hour: How to Mix the 'Whatamelon' Cocktail
Next Post: Hot Topics: Money Moves and Public Anger After Debt Deal