In another indicator of the strong job market, high school drop-outs and others without a college degree continue to find it much easier to get a job. The pool of people looking and willing to hold a job is now so small that employers are even hiring those applicants without a degree. As we have indicated in other posts, anyone that wants a job can get one.
The demand for workers is so strong that businesses are now hiring high school drop outs for positions that formally required a college degree. Per the JOLTS job market survey, over the last 1-2 years there have been hundreds of thousands of available positions in retail, hospitality, and other fields for people without a degree, so employment in those fields has always been there for the taking. Now, as we continue to progress towards the latter part of 2016, there are more available jobs in the professional field.
Overall the national unemployment rate as of July 2016 is a very low 4.9%. Many economists, such as those from Moody’s, say that this is equivalent to full employment. So in effect it is “impossible” for the rate to go any lower as there are always some people that quit their jobs, leave due to personal circumstances (such as starting a family), are impacted by a short term job layoff, etc. What this rate of 4.9% would mean is that anyone who wants to work can get a job in a matter of weeks.
Now, lets look at the unemployment rate for individuals without a college degree. This is a very low 6.3%, which is down from about 7.5% from last year. Even more telling is the unemployment rate for individuals that only have a high school degree, and that rate is now at 5% as of July 2016. So people with a GED and/or high school diploma only are facing a job market that is equivalent to the national average. This is an incredible stat and does not occur very often. In fact, this places a huge advantage to those GED only individuals as they did not spend tens of thousands of dollars (and take on debt) for that college degree.
High school graduates are now getting sales jobs and technology companies are now even hiring some. According to staffing companies such as Manpower, many of these companies are bringing the person on board then putting them through extensive training to give them the skills they need to be successful.
Wages are also increasing. As of July 2016, companies are now increasing wages at about 2.6% per year. While that may not seem like a huge increase, with inflation running in the low 1% range, households are now increasing their income at a faster rate than inflation. This means they are bringing in more money for paying their bills while their cost of living is mostly flat.
Anyone that is struggling to find employment can get assistance in their job search. As the fact is there are over 5.4 million jobs available nationwide (per JOLTs) and the number of people seeking them is only about 7.8 million. So there are many opportunities out there.
We recommend doing a few things. They include starting a search for employment using the free services offered by One Stop Job Centers. There are hundreds of these centers located across the nation. They allow individuals (whether they have a degree or not) to get free tips on creating a resume, provide referrals to training, career counseling, and more. Employers also tend to post open positions at these One stop centers as they are having such difficulty in finding employees.
People without a college degree can also use the One Stop Centers. The centers will help people of all educational levels, races, and even nationalities (if they speak a different language). Start a search here, and dial (877) US-2JOBS to learn more.