Since it is Labor Day, it is a good time to examine the economic outlook as it pertains to the labor force. Over the summer months the country has seen an increase in overall average weekly earnings of .6%.
Authored by: Kevin P. McCabe, President of the Carpenter Contractor Trust
Over the summer months the country has seen an increase in overall average weekly earnings of .6%. This rate takes into account a jump in hourly earnings combined with increased average hours worked, and no change in the Consumer Price Index. This figure is at a steeper increase (1.4%) when compared to this time last year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS).
The increase in wages, and hours worked, combined with the data which states that over the past three months, job gains have averaged 190,000 per month speaks to a strengthening economy. The outlook for the country’s labor force looks hopeful. Carpenters and construction workers especially have a reason to foresee a sustainable career, as The BLS expects employment in these occupations to grow at a rate of about 10% into 2024, which is faster than the rate of growth expected for all other occupations. Additionally, the median wage in these fields is currently around $6,000 more annually than the average for all occupations.
With this good news, we should take a moment on Labor Day to reflect on leaders like Peter J. McGuire, the co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, a leader in promoting the first BLS in the U.S. and the national holiday we will be celebrating next week. McGuire and many others have stood up over the years to fight for laborers, their rights to fair wages, safe working environments and just practices in the industry.
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