After years of being left behind, more Americans are getting a good job, especially those who have had the toughest time finding work. With low unemployment and a resurgence of confidence, more workers are looking for better jobs, and more people are coming off the sidelines. This is what broad and inclusive growth looks like. Here are some snapshots of how more people are climbing the ladder of opportunity:
- Less experienced workers have a better shot at good jobs. “Americans looking to land a first job or break into a dream career face their best odds of success in years,” The Wall Street Journal reports. That’s because more employers are abandoning strict requirements, including college degrees, to attract entry-level workers. And it’s working. The New York Times notes that the unemployment rate among those without a high school degree has dropped to a record low. “You definitely get the sense that employers are willing to look at workers they haven’t looked at in the past,” Martha Gimbel, the director of economic research for Indeed.com, said.
- Summer jobs are turning into permanent jobs. USA TODAY recently reported on how employers are asking more seasonal workers to stay on full-time: “The efforts are happening across age groups and industries, from high school graduates in restaurant and retail jobs to college interns in white-collar fields such as accounting, marketing and data analysis. “It makes me feel on top of the world,” said Jill Whitehead, who after years of piecing together work, saw her temporary gig with a market research company in West Chester, PA turn into a permanent job.
- People with disabilities are finding more opportunities. The South Bend Tribune reports on a growing trend in the Midwest and around the country: “With unemployment rates hovering near historic lows, businesses have been more willing than ever to reach out to Goodwill, Logan, Corvilla, ADEC and other nonprofit agencies in the region that train and place individuals with disabilities to work in businesses.” The paper talked to Andy Bennett, a local Target employee who got a job through this program: “I love retail because I like helping the guests and talking to people.”
- More people are leaving their jobs voluntarily to find better ones. More Americans are quitting their jobs voluntarily, at a level we haven't seen since the spring of 2001. It's a "sign of confidence in the labor market," Reuters notes. The Illinois Department of Employment Security's Bob Gough said: “If you are looking for a better job right now, it really is your market now more than we’ve seen in quite some time."
- Workers are finding more jobs in stores and factories. Two industries typically treated to all sorts of pessimism—retailers and manufacturers—are having a big resurgence, expanding and hiring more people. Retailers are adding 12,000 jobs per month this year, and “the pace of factory hiring more than doubled this year compared with the first seven months of 2017,” The Wall Street Journal notes. The CEO of Ace Hardware, John Venhuizen, told the paper, “There’s no doubt that the low unemployment rate, rising household spending and lower taxes are benefiting sales.”
- Some regions are already seeing full employment. The Atlantic looked at Des Moines as an example of a metropolitan region where the competition for workers has led to higher wages and benefits: “Full employment has a remarkable way of improving the lives of low-wage workers and drawing new individuals into the labor force.” Elisabeth Buck, head of the United Way of Central Iowa, said, “It does feel like things are a little different in the last year.”
Better off now. We’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time, whether it’s from December when Democrats said tax reform would mean ‘the end of the world,’ or from two years ago when our economy was stuck, with too many workers and too much capital on the sidelines. Now our economy is seeing real growth again, and more people are getting a chance to work and do what they love. Learn more at better.gop.