Every year we release our Job Market Perspectives report, which details the current state of the job market broken down by industry sector and region. The report also contains important topics and useful information such as a 2013 year in review, a summary of the last five years, as well as an executive polling section where we take a look at what business leaders are seeing and what challenges we face moving forward.
To coincide with the 2014 Job Market Perspectives Report release, we are publishing a three-part blog series to highlight some of the information in the report. In part one, we discussed the 2007-2009 recession and what impact it had on the job market. In part two, we’ll present a recap of 2013 and show the progress we’ve made in the last year, and in the final installment we’ll present a “sneak peak” of what to expect in 2014.
A year in review
In 2012, jobs had been added — most of which occurred in the early part of year — and the U.S. economy was stronger than it had been for quite some time. The year ended without any major changes, and there was a feeling of optimism going into the new year.
2013 started the same way as 2012, with the addition of 622,000 new jobs in the first quarter. But this pace didn’t last and by the end of the second quarter, job growth had slowed. Familiar questions started to arise — where were the jobs? Would the economy return to it’s pre-recession state? Was a double-dip recession going to occur?
The year progressed and uncertainty continued to be a theme — concerns with the Affordable Care Act, aftermath from the fiscal cliff crisis, Federal Reserve Policy decisions, and the federal government shutdown in October — made it harder for business owners and hiring managers to feel confident in hiring.
But with all this uncertainty a silver lining emerged — consistency in the economy. While it became apparent that pre-recession hiring levels would not make a return, the nation’s unemployment level began a steady drop. By December, the number of unemployed persons dropped by 1.9 million from the previous year, and the unemployment rate reached 6.7% the lowest it had been since October 2008.
And now we’ve come to 2014. Will the unemployment rate continue to drop? What job sectors will see the biggest increases in hiring? What job sectors will see the biggest decreases in hiring? Stay tuned for the final installment in our 3-part blog series, where we’ll present a sneak peak of the year to come.