Job growth has been an elusive statistic measured historically, and with great uncertainty. A lot of that uncertainty stems from the fact that it’s tough to make a determination of exactly how many jobs have been lost or created. One of the factors that we tend to look at is net employment which isn’t really accurate because the amount of people that aren’t employed is going up. Looking at the broader spectrum, the employment picture is starting to look better for the overall economy. Even so, there are plenty of job openings for which qualified American workers are eager to enter the work force.
A major part of the US economy is represented by state and local governments. Local governments are both the single largest employer of labor and its primary provider of jobs. Every state in America has at least one department or agency responsible for overseeing jobs, providing training to new employees, providing benefits to workers who’ve been laid off, and designing and implementing polices to mitigate the negative impacts of a bad economy on employment. These state and local government bodies want to make sure that their investments are doing well and that their citizens are fed, watered, and educated. In short, they want to make sure that everyone has a chance to get a good job.
There are lots of job openings for national level managers, but not all of them get filled because of a lack of qualified applicants. As a nation, our focus tends to be on how much each individual employee is making, but we also need to take a good look at the other responsibilities that those jobs represent. Management positions require not only a general knowledge of the company’s structure and operations, but they also require experience in leadership, planning, and problem solving. Some of the more common core skills required for national level management positions include accounting, finance, information technology, communication, project management, and HR management. In some cases, individuals with a broad range of skills may even be suitable to lead a larger departmental team.
Another source of reliable employment situation summary data is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI). The bureau gathers statistics about the cost of living throughout the United States every month and applies it to the ratio of wages and salaries paid to the median income group of workers in various geographical areas. The consumer price index is considered a very important indicator of overall economic health because almost all of the country’s largest businesses depend on the prices set by this index to determine how much to charge for various products and services. When the consumer price index rises, so do the employment figures.
One of the best ways to judge the health of the American economy is to look at the trends that go into creating the jobs growth numbers. Unfortunately, most analysts don’t pay enough attention to this important factor. Many people aren’t aware that the number of jobs lost during an economic downturn usually trumps the number of jobs created during an economic expansion. This is because during a recession companies are generally forced to cut costs and they may not be in a position to invest in many of the goods and services that they have been counting on to keep them running. For instance, during a financial crisis, it may be difficult for companies to afford to expand their production facilities. So even when a company creates jobs during an economic expansion, those jobs aren’t as plentiful as they were in a healthier economy.
If you’re interested in examining the sources of your jobs growth data, you’ll find a wealth of information available on the Internet. In particular, there are many websites that will aggregate the raw data from different studies and make it easy for you to download and examine. You can download the data and examine it to see where the employment situation stands across the nation. You can also download the same data and use the same tools to examine the trends in certain industries or states over time. No matter where you choose to look, there are reliable ways to interpret the data and arrive at reliable conclusions about the health of the American economy.