Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 file photo, protesters rally for better wages at a Wendy's in Detroit.f. Fast food chains are the epicenter of the battle over the minimum wage, with employees staging protests for an increase. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
5 trends beneath the surface in Nov. jobs report
First Published Dec 08 2013 11:04 am • Last Updated Dec 08 2013 01:59 pm

Washington • As the U.S. job market improves, it’s also evolving, with winners and losers.

Warehouses and trucking companies are doing more holiday hiring than the stores they’re working for.

Photos
Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Factory workers are getting more overtime, while pay is nearly flat for hotel and restaurant employees. Retirement-age Americans are staying on the job.

And for people who’ve been out of work for more than six months, the outlook has gone from painful to desperate.

Here’s a look at five trends that emerge from the November employment report released Friday:

— HOLIDAY SHOPPING

Hiring typically gets a boost from the holiday season. But online shopping has changed the mix. Take a look at transportation and warehouse jobs: Those sectors added 30,500 jobs in November, the Labor Department said. That’s 50 percent more than the November 2012 increase. These are FedEx and UPS gigs— the seasonal workers who ship you the deluxe limited DVD edition of "Downton Abbey."

Amazon alone planned to hire 20,000 additional holiday workers this year, according to the personnel firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Last month, the shipping sector added more jobs than brick-and-mortar retailers did. Stores added 24,800, only half as many as in the previous year.

Still, you might hold off on getting your commercial driver’s license. If Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos can deliver on his now-famous dream, many of those shipping jobs could eventually flow to Bezos’ armada of drones.

— DEATH OF FACTORIES GREATLY EXAGGERATED


story continues below
story continues below

There’s been a lot of handwringing about the plight of manufacturing. Factory orders have tumbled in recent months, government reports show. But industry surveys show that assembly lines are still cranking away.

Friday’s jobs report suggests that factories are booming. Manufacturers added 27,000 jobs. The result is that total factory employees cracked the 12 million mark for the first time since 2009. What’s more, factory workers are averaging 4.5 hours of overtime each week, an increase of nearly 10 percent over the year. We’re talking more cars, more steel, more machinery — and more spillover effects that boost other sectors, like transportation and technology.

— GRAYER WORKERS

The unemployment rate is just 4.9 percent for Americans older than 65, compared with 7 percent for adults as a whole. Dating to November 2012, the number of senior citizens who either have a job or are looking for one has grown by nearly half a million to 7 million.

In some cases, they kept working after they reached retirement age because their nest egg vanished during the financial crisis. There’s another factor, too: Social Security. To receive full Social Security benefits, Americans now have to wait until age 66, instead of 65.

— STAGNANT PAY AT THE BOTTOM

Restaurants and hotels created nearly 16 percent of the jobs added over the past 12 months. Those industries are known for paying low wages to their fry cooks and cleaning staff. Fast food chains like McDonald’s have been at the epicenter of a battle over low wages, with employees around the country last week staging walkouts.

Restaurants and hotels added 361,000 workers this year. And basic economic theory says greater demand for workers usually leads to higher pay.

So how much did restaurants and hotels have to raise pay to attract people in November? Just 15 cents an hour to $11.80. Based on the average number of hours the industry’s employees work each week, that wage is roughly at the poverty line for a parent and child. And since September, leisure industry wages have actually dipped 3 cents an hour.

— LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED

Even as the number of unemployed Americans has fallen nearly 350,000 in the past two months, the ranks of the long-term unemployed have barely budged. They number about 4.1 million. And they’re not catching many breaks. Companies are shying away from hiring workers with extended gaps in their resumes.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.