Everyone's a winner in the 1997 labor market

Last year was another exceptional year for the U.S. economy, and the best year in three decades for the U.S. labor market. The national unemployment rate was at 5% or below during every month of 1997 after March, and averaged 4.

04/01/1998


Last year was another exceptional year for the U.S. economy, and the best year in three decades for the U.S. labor market. The national unemployment rate was at 5% or below during every month of 1997 after March, and averaged 4.9% for the year as a whole -- the lowest jobless rate since 1973. More net new jobs were added than at any time in our history, and a record 64.1% of the population was employed at the close of the year -- more than 6% higher than in 1973.

All regions of the nation saw labor market conditions improve during the year. Summarized in the following list are the states and metropolitan areas that are in particularly good shape as we enter 1998.

There are many ways of assessing the relative health of the job market for a state or area. The most obvious way is to look at the unemployment rate. The ten states with the lowest rate of unemployment at the close of 1997 are led by the Plains states; all have jobless rates well below the 4.7% U.S. average for December 1997.

The unemployment rate is a good indication of how well a state or area is doing in generating enough jobs for the resident labor force, but it doesn't tell us anything about the dynamics of the local labor market. Looking instead at the numbers concerning job growth reveals both where the largest number of new jobs are being created, and the gains in new employment relative to the current employment base. The sunbelt states with relatively attractive climates are a magnet for new firms and new workers, including immigrants. Not surprisingly, California, Florida, and Texas between them created more than 800,000 new jobs during 1997. Percentage growth was highest in the Rocky Mountain states.

States with lowest unemployment rates

(December 1997)

State Unemployment, %

Nebraska 1.9

North Dakota 2

South Dakota 2.7

New Hampshire 2.9

Iowa 2.9

Utah 2.9

Minnesota 2.9

Colorado 3

Virginia 3.4

Delaware 3.4





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me