Jobs

The big picture

The aging future of work

The tightening labor market is opening up new opportunities for American workers over age 50.

Feb 12, 2020 - Economy & Business
Unemployment fell to 50-year low in 2019 but wages stagnated

Wages grew by 2.9%, the lowest rate in a year and a half.

Jan 13, 2020 - Economy & Business
Americans are moving less

The traditionally mobile young are hemmed in by housing costs.

Dec 31, 2019 - Economy & Business
An unsettling future for millions of American jobs

For decades, the job market has seen steady polarization.

Dec 19, 2019 - Economy & Business
America's worker deserts

The "good news" story of the strong labor market has a big downside.

Aug 30, 2019 - Economy & Business
Deep Dive ... The new gig: America's hidden economy

A growing number of them aren't 9-to-5 employees.

Apr 27, 2019 - Economy & Business

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Rural America's meager business growth

Reproduced from Center for American Progress; Chart: Axios Visuals

The growth of small businesses has been concentrated in big cities and urban suburbs since the Great Recession, while nearly all rural areas have experienced substantial loss of businesses in the past decade.

Why it matters: "Firm growth is a crucial part of economic development, and business creation has been critical in the aftermath of previous recessions. But policies geared toward encouraging startups have not been effective in rural areas, leading to a growing regional divide," per a new report by the Center for American Progress.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

The latest job openings report was even worse than advertised

Data: BLS via Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report showed the lowest number of openings in two years, but the rest of the report revealed some other negative facts about the labor market.

Details: November and December saw the largest two-month drop in job openings on record, dating back to 2001, notes Lou Brien, rates strategist at DRW Trading.

Work stoppages from labor disputes rose to a two-decade high in 2019

United Auto Workers union members striking in October 2019. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

3.24 million work days were lost to labor strikes and lockouts in 2019, the most since 2004, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why it matters: Labor disputes can cost workers and businesses in missed wages, decreased productivity and stunted revenues.

Job openings in 2019 saw steepest drop since the financial crisis

Data: BLS via Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of job openings in the U.S. declined consistently throughout 2019 and took a nosedive in the last two months of the year, the government's December Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed.

The state of play: Job openings declined by 364,000 in December after a decline of 561,000 in November.

Historically weak wage growth may be the best we get

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. economy added 225,000 new jobs last month and more workers came into the labor force. But data showed wages again failed to rise meaningfully, and there's reason to worry that growth may have peaked at this relatively low level.

What's happening: Average hourly earnings grew by 3.1% over the last 12 months, according to the January jobs report, and have stayed within the narrow range of 2.9% to 3.2% for much of the past year and a half.

Election-year economy "everything Trump could hope for"

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Chart: Axios Visuals

The big headline out of Friday's jobs report "was that employers added 225,000 jobs in January, comfortably more than analysts had expected," N.Y. Times senior economics correspondent Neil Irwin writes.

The big picture: Positive underlying trends drove the unemployment rate up to 3.6% from 3.5%, while the share of adults working or looking for work rose to 63.4% — the highest since mid-2013, the Times writes.

U.S. economy adds 225,000 jobs in January

Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The U.S. economy added 225,000 jobs in January, the government said on Friday, far above economists’ expectations of 161,000. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.6% — just above last month's 50-year low of 3.5%

The big picture: The result showcased the continued resiliency of the labor market, and the strong numbers are sure to be seized on by President Trump as he plots his course to re-election following his acquittal in the Senate's impeachment trial.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

U.S. jobs growth may be going to another level

Photo: Jim Young/AFP via Getty Images

The job market looks to be picking up steam and shaking off any hints of the slowdown economists predicted would happen as employers got further away from the boost of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

What happened: ADP's private payrolls report showed the U.S. added 291,000 jobs in January, beating expectations by a wide margin for the second straight month. It was the report's best monthly gain since May 2015.

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