It's a complaint US employers have had for quite some time. They can't find enough qualified skilled workers to fill the 6.6 million open positions. That so-called skills gap now the likely cause for a slowdown in hiring in July. I'm Conway Gittens in New York. The closely-watched jobs report released on Friday showed job creation of 157,000 in the month of July.
Now, that's a far cry below the 12-month average. Now, there's one other thing to note. The skilled workers who are getting jobs are seeing slightly fatter paychecks. But the pay gains are barely enough to cover the rising cost of things like energy, health care, food, and shelter. Economists are still wondering when the corporate tax cuts pushed through are going to lead to a more meaningful bump in workers' pay.
But even with tepid wage gains, skilled workers are looking and finding work, driving the unemployment rate down to 3.9%. The monthly jobs report is seen as the most important check-up on the economy. And there's hardly a sign the economy or the labor market is getting hurt by rising tit for tat tariffs.
At least, not yet. The manufacturing sector, which President Trump has vowed to get roaring again by making imports more costly through tariffs, added another 37,000 jobs last month. But with some companies warning they won't be able to pass the higher cost caused by the tariffs unto their customers, there's some concern they'll make up the difference by cutting back on expenses, and that could mean fewer jobs down the line.