May’s lackluster 72,000 added jobs indicated what many had feared — the economic slowdown is here. But if June’s encouraging bounce-back showed anything, we’ve staved off that reality for a bit longer.
The Labor Department reported 224,000 jobs were created last month and helped to close Q2 on a strong note. The unemployment rate’s slight rise from 3.6% early in the quarter to 3.7% is also a positive marker, according to the The New York Times. And actually illustrates the influx of people participating in the U.S. workforce rather than a warning of something more dire. For college-degreed individuals, unemployment remains at 2.1%.
Signs that wage growth is beginning to slow are also apparent. Hourly earnings rose only 3.1% percent within the last year — barely missing market expectations of 3.2%.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DOWN FOR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONS
One thing is evident: the demand for accounting and finance professionals remains in full force. According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment for accountants and auditors dropped from 1.8% to 1.5% at the end of Q2 — falling well below the national unemployment rate and those with a Bachelor’s degree and higher.
Here’s the unemployment breakdown by roles:
- Accountants and auditors: 1.5%
- Financial managers: 1.2%
- Financial analysts: 1.4%
- Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks: 1.8%
- Billing and posting clerks: 1.0%
CENTURY GROUP’S FORECAST
ITR Economics’ Trends Report foresees an optimistic outlook for the U.S. Private Sector within the next couple of years: employment will rise through at least 2021. Yes, the pace is expected to slow as we head into the last quarter of 2019 and into next year. But companies should resist the impulse to reduce their teams, as today’s tight labor market continues to make it difficult to replace employees.
Bottom line: Employers should continue courting candidates. Focus on offering competitive salaries, remaining engaged throughout the hiring process and presenting job offers quickly.
Now is a great time for job seekers to explore their options. Evaluate your current role — are all your needs being met? Networking with colleagues and other professionals can help introduce you to new positions that are a better fit.
But remember: when considering a new role, it’s important to remain a courteous candidate. Practicing flaky and rude habits like “ghosting” can have long-term effects on your career.
Download your copy of our 2019 Salary Guide for more employment trends and insights.