US job market is undergoing transformation. Despite two years of job growth, there were still 4.6 million fewer jobs on private payrolls in last April than when recession began in December 2007. However, unlike Eurozone, American job market has not unleashed symptoms of turmoil. Americans are willing to wait as long as they can count on the support of the social safety net.
Raghuram Rajan, a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, argues the U.S.’s high unemployment rate is the result of structural changes rather than a cyclical downturn in demand. He reasons the U.S. housing bubble and the boom in world trade over the last couple of decades created millions of jobs that won’t be coming back.
Problem lies in the fact that now people are looking for employment for 6 months or longer. Taking into account the extent of de-skilling and the inadequacy of retraining programmes, long term unemployment is taking the shape of a structural challenge in US job market.
The good news is that the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell over the last few months almost to the lowest level in five years, evidence that employers are cutting fewer jobs and are stepping up hiring.
There have been other positive signs for the economy and job market.
The once-battered housing sector is recovering, which is boosting construction and home prices. Home builders started work in 2012 on the most new homes in four years. And sales of previously occupied homes reached their highest level in five years last year. Still, home building and sales remain below the levels consistent with a healthy economy.
More home building will likely increase job growth. In December, the economy gained 30,000 construction jobs – the most in 15 months. And economists expect construction firms to add more jobs this year as the housing recovery strengthens.
The USA job market is proving surprisingly strong and raising hopes that the economy will be resilient enough this year to withstand a budget standoff in Washington and potentially deep cuts in federal spending.
Employers added 157,000 jobs last month, and hiring turned out to be healthier than previously thought at the end of 2012 just as the economy faced the threat of the “fiscal cliff.”
For 2013, the top two positions companies plan to hire are sales jobs (29 percent) and information technology jobs (27 percent), two fields that have continued to experience healthy growth.
So 2013 is expected to bring cheer for the IT job seekers!