US Labor Market Shows Signs of Peaking, Could Employment Fall in 2020?

US Labor Market Shows Signs of Peaking, Could Employment Fall in 2020?

Posted Monday, January 27, 2020 by
Arslan Butt • 1 min read

A recent survey by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) hints at the possibility that the US labor market could have reached a peak and could even experience a slowdown in 2020. The survey reveals a decline in employment across the services, goods-producing, transport and utilities sector even as other sectors such as finance, insurance and real estate experience an increase in employment.

Q4 2019 saw job openings in the US falling at the fastest pace in over four years, as per the NABE survey. According to Survey Chair Megan Greene, “For the first time in a decade, there are as many respondents reporting decreases as increases in employment at their firms than in the previous three months.”

However, the decline in employment seems to be driven more by a lack of finding skilled workers rather than due to any reduction in demand among businesses. NABE reveals that a growing number of businesses in the US are experience shortage of both skilled and unskilled labor.

Meanwhile, wage growth remains subdued as 44% of companies surveyed opt to train internal staff for promotions even as 36% of them increase investments in labor-saving processes. There is also an increase in optimism about economic growth among companies, with a 10% increase in companies expecting the US economy to grow between 2.1% and 3.0% in 2020.

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