Blue-collar hiring and pay gains stay hot in a cooling job market


Blue-collar hiring and pay gains stay hot in a cooling job market

Blue-collar hiring and pay gains stayed hot in a cooling job market in the first quarter of 2019, as the labor market continues to remain strong despite signs of economic slowing.

According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, blue-collar jobs saw some of the biggest gains in employment and wages in the first quarter. Employment in occupations traditionally filled by blue collar workers reached a record 147.1 million, up 0.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2018. This is compared to a 0.2 percent decline in total nonfarm payroll employment in the first quarter.

At the same time, hourly earnings for all production and nonsupervisory workers rose 3.3 percent in the first quarter, more than double the 1.5 percent inflation rate. This marked the sixth consecutive quarter that wages for blue-collar workers have outpaced inflation.

These figures suggest that even though the labor market may be losing some of its steam, employers are still hungry for skilled blue-collar workers and are willing to pay good wages to retain them. The growing demand for blue-collar workers is likely linked to strong consumer spending, which supports the manufacturing sector.

The strong blue-collar hiring and pay gains of the first quarter of 2019 offer a glimpse of an economy that is still healthy despite the risks of a looming recession. As experts monitor economic data carefully in the coming months to gauge how much the labor market has cooled, these figures could be a sign that the labor market may be able to weather any tough economic times with resilience.