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Even though the labor market has added new workers for 75 straight months (through 2016), there continue to be certain paradoxes and fundamental weaknesses in the U.S. employment market. 

The U.S. employment picture is far stronger in 2017 than it was after the Great Recession when unemployment peaked at about 10%. But there are still some factors holding back the U.S.  workforce and the vitality of the labor market. This special, in-depth report covers some of the key issues still facing workers in America:

  • Slow wage growth and job erosion in higher-paying industries. While the U.S. economy has been successful in creating jobs since the Great Recession, the bulk of the jobs have been in industries and sectors that are generally low paying.  As a result, average hourly earnings and average weekly earnings have risen at a fairly reserved pace.  
  • Impact of lagging labor force participation rates. During the recession many unemployed individuals became discouraged due to the lack of job openings and eventually stopped looking for jobs. If someone is neither working nor actively seeking a job, they are no longer considered as part of the labor force and hence the labor force participation rate falls. What impact does this have on the labor market in general?
  • The potential impact of isolationism and tighter immigration policies. The impact of the Trump Administration’s stance against immigration and trade agreements on economic activity and wages remains to be seen, but it is unclear whether workers in the U.S. will benefit.  

Read the full report: Paradoxes of the U.S. Labor Market

 

 

All information and representations herein are as of February 21, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

The views expressed are as of the date given, may change as market or other conditions change, and may differ from views expressed by other Thrivent Asset Management associates. Actual investment decisions made by Thrivent Asset Management will not necessarily reflect the views expressed. This information should not be considered investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or product.  Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor's specific financial needs, objectives, goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance.

This article refers to specific securities which Thrivent Mutual Funds may own. A complete listing of the holdings for each of the Thrivent Mutual Funds is available on ThriventFunds.com.

Opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of Thrivent Asset Management, LLC. or its employees. The information provided here does not purport to be a complete statement of all material facts related to any company, industry or security mentioned. Opinions expressed here are those of the author at the time of writing, are subject to change without notice, and may or may not be updated. This information should not be used as the primary basis of investment decisions. Because of individual client requirements, it should not be construed as advice designed to meet the particular investment needs of any investor. Contact your financial professional and tax advisor before implementing any strategies outlined in this material.

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