Employers across the U.S. had a record 6.2 million job openings posted at the end of June, a sign that employers are hungry for new workers. The number of job openings climbed by 417,000 in June for private employers and by 44,000 for government postings, which include state and local government, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, known as Jolts.
U.S. employers hired at a healthy rate in July and the unemployment rate fell to match a 16-year-low, a show of lasting vitality for the labor market.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 209,000 in July from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3% from 4.4% the prior month as more people joined the workforce. The July unemployment rate matched May's reading as the lowest mark since 2001.
The acceleration in wages on a monthly basis may show that managers are finally starting to boost pay some more in a bid to keep or attract workers. Even so, the 2.5 percent pace of annual wage growth is little changed over the past two years, owing to factors including weak productivity, as well as people returning to the labor force and accepting lower-skilled work.
By the end of this month, CSU will drop math and English placement tests the system has been using for years and for the first time rely on multiple measures such as a student’s high school grade-point average, grades earned in math and English, and test scores on standardized tests like the SAT, ACT or Smarter Balanced assessments to determine whether incoming freshmen are placed in courses that include remedial work. . . .In fall 2018, CSU will also launch a new approach to teaching students who need extra academic help. Starting next fall, those students will enroll in credit-bearing classes while simultaneously receiving additional remedial support — a move aimed at allowing students to more quickly catch up on key math and English skills and avoid spending money and time on courses that don’t count toward their degrees. The “supportive course models,” as CSU is calling them, could include additional instruction, stretching one-semester courses over two terms, or “co-requisite classes” that pair remedial work with college-level content.
For some Silicon Valley companies such as Google, which operate in a region where finding an affordable place to live has become a major issue, that may mean getting directly involved in employee housing. For farms in California, it may mean offering significantly higher wages, which can alter business models and reduce profit margins. In rapidly growing industries such as solar, some companies are taking a more proactive role in training employees. And, in some instances, it may mean looking to hire some of the 600,000 people who get out of jail each year. That was the point of a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal this week. “Erickson Cos., a Chandler, Ariz.,–based construction firm, has hired almost 30 former inmates from Arizona state prisons over the past year to build frames for new homes, an effort to cope with skilled-labor scarcity,” the Journal noted. “Erickson, which has about 250 employees in Arizona and roughly 1,000 nationwide, has been recruiting directly from corrections department job fairs for prisoners nearing release.”