The news is a buzz with the increase in jobs in the UK and USA. Is it positive news? What does it mean for graduates?
The end of March saw 192,000 new roles added to the American economy, although many were in areas that didn’t need a degree. For example, it was reported by the Washington Post that 49,000 workers were gained in construction and hospitality sectors such as restaurants and bars. Thankfully, graduates gained too, with education, healthcare and business increasing their number of positions as well. These changes however haven’t dramatically altered the unemployment percentage, which still sits at 6.7%. This figure is an improvement on the previous year’s which was 7.5%. Another change is the number of people applying for each job, whereas at the height of the recession there were 6 people applying for each role, now the figure has dropped to merely 2.5 according to the US Department of Labour.
How does this effect graduates?
These positive numbers mean that there can be a greater feeling of assurance with the US economy. After all the USA still has the largest deficit in the global economy. Due to the intrinsic connected nature of the global markets, improvements in the US economy will mean improvements in other economies too. These increases in jobs are a tentative sign that the recession is being left behind and graduates can once again be confident in the job market.
In Britain unemployment sits at 7.2% however the coalition government is hoping that new tax reductions in the business sector will lead to a further creation of new jobs. This is all good news for graduates. Whether looking to stay in their home country or work abroad in different economies a helpful turn in the job markets benefits everyone including graduates. It’s often said, a rising tide lifts all boats and the USA’s increase in jobs is one such example.
The real hope is that this growth in the job market will lead to an avoidance of another recession. The UK and the USA hope to build economies that are resistant to the factors that created the massive global depression. With employment levels slowly increasing, both major economic powers are hoping to see their unemployment percentages drop further in the coming years.
The next issue for the USA and the UK to tackle is that of long term unemployment. Both countries are pushing to reduce the number of people who have been out of work for over 6 months. These long term unemployed present not only lost tax revenue and benefits to the economy but also represent a drain on social safety nets. The Bill proposed in the USA to reinstate unemployment benefit to 2 million long term unemployed is likely to face contestation, meaning that the issue will not likely be resolved before congress break for Easter. President Obama has also been trying to raise the national minimal wage in America, stating, that it is “good policy” and “good politics”. According to the Guardian, “Republicans have opposed increasing the minimum wage, asserting that it will kill jobs.” An opinion not shared by Democrats. Meanwhile in the UK there was good news as “The number of people claiming jobless benefits in the UK also fell by 24,000 to a near five-year low of 1.25 million in December”
What does this mean?
It means you can have greater confidence in the economies. It means that jobs are increasing and the time you could spend unemployed is decreasing. In short it is good news for graduates.