The United States job market has gone through substantial changes during the past five years since the economy has begun to recover from the recession. The middle class, once one of America’s greatest gains, has diminished. More and more working Americans are living in poverty. Health care, technology, and energy sectors have helped lead the recovery while the housing industry has decreased dramatically.
The number of jobs has finally recovered to it’s previous amount in January 2008. Since early 2010, there has been a gain of over 8.5 million jobs. The working population has also grown in the last six years. Economists believe the rising wages and improving business market will continue to help foster growth back into the labor market.
The recession especially hurt industries with middle-wage male workers and the industry has yet to see a full recovery. The manufacturing sector has done slightly better than the construction industry. The manufacturing sector has reintroduced several thousand jobs with average salaries of $51,480. The health care sector continues to thrive post recession. It is now the leading employer at all levels and is becoming the backbone of the new middle class.
In past recessions, factories and manufacturing jobs always had the worst downturn. This past recession has left both job industries in worse condition, leaving only 12 million people working in manufacturing jobs. Businesses in the United States that produce their products in factories have fewer factories and fewer workers. The loss of these factory jobs is one of the main reasons for the destruction of middle-wage jobs. Although it has been a rough path, the American industry will continue on the path of greater production of valuable goods. Manufacturing has begun to recapture some momentum with companies returning production from overseas and overall lower energy prices.
In the housing industry, many states are surpassing their old peaks and are experiencing double digit price increases. Prices continue to rebounds, developers are breaking ground for new projects and foreclosures have decreased significantly. Households are forming once again!
Energy production continues to go through an extraordinary expansion. The middle of the United States is the prime beneficiary of the energy boom. While oil and natural gas output has increased, alternative energy sources like wind and solar power have gained popularity. The oil and gas industry alone has tripled employment from 60,000 to 210,000. Along with the increased employment, the cost of energy has significantly lowered helping the chemical and plastic industries.
Unlike most of the industries in the U.S., the technology sector emerged from the recession unscathed. Technology companies like Apple, Twitter, and Facebook along with many others managed to power through the recession and created tremendous wealth for many individuals while adding well-paying jobs to the economy. The high tech companies are not showing any signs of slowing down. They have been capitalizing on social media, cloud computing, big data and luring college graduates away from Wall Street jobs.
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