A year after an unprecedented economic downturn in the United States, a new study has found managers’ top worries for the next four years include a “challenging economic climate and a continuing decline in labor market participation” as well as a “significant and growing” need to increase their workforce.
The report, “Challenging Job Market: The Role of Managers and Job Growth in the Next Four Years,” was released by the Labor Department on Thursday and follows the release of the Federal Reserve’s 2017 Job Report on Thursday.
The job market has shown a steady and sharp decline over the last four years and the unemployment rate for the country as a whole has increased by nearly 3.3 percentage points, the report said.
“While this downturn has been hard to overcome, the unemployment problem is not only a public health crisis, it is also a major economic challenge that requires policymakers to take bold action,” said the report, written by two Labor Department economists.
“The U.S. labor market is showing signs of weakness.
The economy is growing at an average annual rate of only 2.1 percent.
And while job growth is slowing, the labor market continues to suffer from a severe underutilization of workers, and a widening wage gap.
These trends are expected to continue, especially as unemployment continues to climb.”
The report also found that while more Americans are working part-time in the labor force, more people are not working full-time because employers are unable to find enough workers.
The authors of the report noted that “a growing number of companies are also reducing hours to avoid having to pay their workers more money.”
“We continue to see a rise in the number of part-timers, as well,” said Matthew Lutz, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers.
“A lot of the people who are part- time, they don’t need the full time hours, they’re doing the part-work and they don’ get a raise.
That means the employers are cutting back on the hours.”
While the unemployment and underemployment rates have been trending downward, the job market continues, in part, to be characterized by high levels of part time employment, the authors said.
That trend has created uncertainty for companies, and for workers, about their ability to find work and, therefore, the need to hire.
“In addition to uncertainty, employers are concerned about their jobs being replaced by robots, artificial intelligence, and other automation technologies,” the report states.
“There are also fears that they will be replaced by artificial intelligence and robotics that can take advantage of the new skills that are emerging in technology.”
The authors also found some progress in increasing labor force participation, which they attribute to a strong economy and strong economic growth.
However, they also noted that they believe the labor demand and job opportunities are still not meeting the needs of Americans.
“Despite some recent signs of improvement, the long-term unemployment rate remains above 8 percent and the overall jobless rate remains stubbornly high at nearly 14 percent,” the authors noted.
“Given the challenges ahead, policymakers should consider making major policy changes to support the labor participation and employment of all Americans.”
The National Association for Workforce Research and Education also released its own report on the jobless recovery in the country, “The Jobless Recovery: A Report to the American People.”
“The report highlights that the recovery has been sluggish and that some states, including California and Washington, have seen job losses, while others have seen gains,” said Brian Doherty, the organization’s director of labor policy and economic analysis.
“It also identifies significant and growing barriers to full employment and an aging workforce that are holding back the economic recovery.”
Doherty noted that while there has been progress, it still takes time for the recovery to show the full potential of the economy.
“We are well beyond the point where full employment can be sustained.
And we need to be ready to adjust to that challenge,” he said.
The labor market report comes as the Federal Government is currently facing a “crisis of confidence” as joblessness continues to rise, the Associated Press reported.
President Donald Trump recently announced a new strategy to help boost the economy, which he calls the “Trump Economic Agenda,” and announced plans to reduce the budget deficit by $1.4 trillion over 10 years.
The strategy calls for boosting spending on the military and infrastructure while increasing tax revenue to help fund programs like unemployment insurance, child care and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The Trump Administration has also proposed cutting funding to the Children’s Health Insurance Program and providing $1 billion in additional funding for community colleges and other schools that serve students of color.