Americans who expect to see a wide array of new jobs on the horizon may be in for a surprise. Not only are traditional full-time jobs scarcer these days — a combination of technological automation and corporate thrift — but they also aren’t what they used to be. Companies are less inclined to offer full-time jobs because they are more expensive and impede organizations’ abilities to scale up or down depending on market factors.1
In fact, two economists recently analyzed data and discovered that “all of the net employment growth in the U.S. over the past decade came from alternative work arrangements, not full-time jobs.” Today, 20 to 30 percent of adults work on an independent or contract basis.2
Historically, job creation has been a good indicator of growth industries and, therefore, one component used to assess investment opportunities. As an independent financial services firm, we’re here to help you analyze your personal financial situation and create strategies utilizing a variety of investment and insurance products that can help you work toward your financial goals. If you’re interested in a comprehensive review of this nature, we’d be happy to schedule a time to discuss this with you further.
A recent study found that, in 2017, the states with the most positive employment outlooks are Oregon (25 percent), Hawaii (23 percent), Florida (21 percent), Iowa (20 percent), and, tying for fifth place, California and Oklahoma (18 percent each). Industries that have increased hiring in recent months include wholesale and retail trade, transportation and utilities, and professional services.3
North Carolina is one state that has lost a significant number of jobs — 2.2 million since 2010 — largely in the textile and furniture manufacturing sectors. Unfortunately, as the large population of business-owning baby boomers start picturing retirement in their near future, the potential exists for many more jobs to fall by the wayside. One economic analyst has embarked on a campaign to promote employee ownership of small businesses to help ensure their continuation and economic growth after the owner(s) retire.4
The retail industry also is seeing its share of job reductions due to the prevalence of online purchasing, rendering many long-time merchants left out on the brick-and-mortar sidewalk. For example, despite the fact that the toy industry is booming — annual U.S. toy sales grew 5 percent in 2016 and are estimated at $26 billion — retail giant Toys R Us recently laid off between 10 and 15 percent of its corporate employees.5
Another employment sector that isn’t likely to materialize at the rate expected is coal mining. Last year, the number of coal miners decreased by 24 percent compared to 2015. On the other hand, there is an increase in job opportunities in renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. In fact, in recent years the Bureau of Labor Statistics has pronounced “wind turbine service technician” to be America’s fastest-growing occupation.6
1 Diane Mulcahy. Harvard Business Review. Oct. 20, 2016. “Why I Tell My MBA Students to Stop Looking for a Job and Join the Gig Economy.” https://hbr.org/2016/10/why-i-tell-my-mba-students-to-stop-looking-for-a-job-and-join-the-gig-economy. Accessed Feb. 21, 2017.
3 Karsten Strauss. Forbes. Dec. 13, 2016. “Where The Jobs Will (And Won’t) be in 2017.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2016/12/13/where-the-jobs-will-and-wont-be-in-2017/#1e9fa96d1a43. Accessed Feb. 21, 2017.
4 Darren Dahl. Forbes. Feb. 21, 2017. “How North Carolina Can Save Jobs from the Coming Silver Tsunami.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/darrendahl/2017/02/21/how-north-carolina-can-save-jobs-from-the-coming-silver-tsunami/#616ef048463b. Accessed Feb. 21, 2017.
5 Doreen McCallister. NPR. Feb. 21, 2017. “Toy Fair Shows Off What’s New as Toys R Us Cuts 250 Corporate Jobs.” http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/21/516368759/toy-fair-shows-off-whats-new-as-toys-r-us-cuts-250-corporate-jobs. Accessed Feb. 21, 2017.
6 Erika Fry. Fortune. Feb. 21, 2017. “Sorry, Coal. Solar Is Where the Jobs Are.” http://fortune.com/2017/02/21/donald-trump-jobs-coal-mining-solar-energy/. Accessed Feb. 21, 2017.