Heading into 2018, economists expected hiring to slow due to a tight labor market, as a below-4 percent unemployment rate would make finding workers difficult for businesses. According to The Wall Street Journal, “the opposite has occurred, largely due to a resurgence in two categories that had been contracting, retail and manufacturing.”
Through the month of July, U.S. employers added an average of 215,000 jobs a month to payrolls; a market acceleration from the 184,000 jobs added during the first seven months of 2017, the Wall Street Journal reports.
One of the major reasons for this uptick in hiring is that retailers added an average of 12,000 workers each month this year. An increase in consumer spending, driven by rising incomes and stronger consumer confidence, has also led other retailers to grow.
The article cites Ace Hardware Corp. as an example, stating that the co-op “opened 87 new U.S. stores in the first half of 2018, which equates to roughly 1,300 new jobs. The company expects to open about 160 new stores this year,” the Journal reports.
While manufacturers have mostly been shedding jobs since the late 1970s, employment in the sector has increased since the end of the recession in 2009, with factory hiring more than doubled this year compared to the first seven months of 2017, the article reports.
Manufacturing may be receiving benefits from a growing global economy that demands American-made goods and increased domestic oil production.
In April 2018, the Chicago Tribune reported that trends in home renovations contributed to growth in new retail jobs.