By: Gene Walden, Senior Finance Editor February 21, 2017
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
Views expressed are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of Thrivent Financial or any of its affiliates, including Thrivent Asset Management, the investment adviser for Thrivent Mutual Funds, and Thrivent Distributors LLC, the principal underwriter and distributor for Thrivent Mutual Funds. Both Thrivent Asset Management and Thrivent Distributors LLC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Thrivent Financial. Thrivent Distributors LLC is a registered broker-dealer located at 625 Fourth Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415.
The views expressed are as of the date given, may change as market or other conditions change, and may differ from views expressed by Thrivent Asset Management associates. Actual investment decisions made by Thrivent Asset Management will not necessarily reflect the views expressed herein. This information should not be considered investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or product.
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