After the latest U.S jobs report revealed the creation of 223,000 new positions, market experts were surprised, expecting something closer to 200,000 or below. Unemployment rates also dipped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent matching a level not exceeded since 1969.
Overall, the economic uptick also has translated to a ninth continuous year of expansion, which is only one year from matching an economic record. The most encouraging part of the growth is that it has been felt across most industries to some degree. While retailers led the way with 31,000 new jobs over the latest reporting period, healthcare companies nearly matched them with 29,000 hires. Not to be outdone, the construction and manufacturing industries ballooned by 25,000 and 18,000 jobs, respectively.
If there is one caveat, it may be the repeated refrain from some industries about the lack of available skilled workers. This makes the robust numbers in manufacturing a bit surprising since it is the sector that increasingly requires the most advanced training. But overall, the trend is encouraging as it demonstrates the training and re-training needed for advanced manufacturing — in conjunction with partnerships with vocational schools — is working.