When you look at the numbers, you can’t help but think everyone must be working and where are companies getting the new employees that they desperately need? U.S. employers posted the most jobs in two decades in August, and hiring also reached a record high as reported by Rugaber of The Associated Press. This means that companies are desperate to increase their payrolls in the midst of an unemployment rate of a nearly five-decade low of 3.7%. And yet, pay raises have still lagged behind. When will companies learn? What is holding companies back from increasing their starting pay of jobs they need to fill?
Average hourly earnings rose 2.8% in September compared with a year earlier. That’s higher than several years ago, but below the roughly 4% gain that is typical when unemployment is so low. Employers hired 5.78 million in August. About 5.71 million people lost or left their jobs, including 3.6 million who quit. The quits rate was unchanged at a 17-year high of 2.7% among private-sector employees according to Bartash of MarketWatch. The percentage of the workforce that found jobs in August ticked up to 3.9% from 3.8% in July. That matched an 11-year high first reached in May.
Job openings rose in August in professional and business services, which include mostly higher-paying positions in engineering, accounting and architecture as well as temporary help. Postings in that category jumped 27% from a year ago. Pay increases still need to happen here. Let’s move on to construction. Construction firms have been desperate for workers all year and currently the industry is posting 298,000 jobs. In Tucson, construction firms are having to hire 2 inexperienced workers for every opening that requires experienced workers since they can’t find them and then spend much of the time training. Job openings also increased in government, financial services, and health care. Let’s finish with the trucking industry. Oh my, any drivers out there? At least this industry is paying more, some companies doubling the starting pay. Trucking fleets have added more than 33,000 jobs in the past 12 months according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall payrolls climbed to their highest level in more than a decade in September.
Anyway you look at it, if you want to work, there’s a job for you, maybe three or four jobs for you. Ask for an increase in starting pay and maybe you’ll get it. Something has to give.