Peruse the CareerCast.com Jobs Rated Best Jobs of 2016 , and you'll notice a variety of careers in statistical and data analysis ranked in the Top 10. Growing emphasis in a variety of sectors contributes to the high rank of fields like data scientist and statistician.
Employment figures reported for April 2016 remained positive, but shy of the lofty gains made in recent months. How might this impact your hunt heading into summer, as the job market heats up commensurate with the temperature? In the last half-decade, April has ushered in the month-over-month growth typical of the spring and summer months with some of the bigger job gains seen all year, including a 346,000 job increase in 2011 and 310,000 in 2014. The reported 160,000 new jobs added to the American economy this April total the lowest single month gain posted yet in 2016.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released March 2016 employment estimates of about 215,000 new hires for the month, but an unemployment rate creeping ever-so-slightly from 4.9 to 5 percent. More Americans actively seeking jobs explains the incremental unemployment increase despite increased hiring. More hires could continue to bring those who stopped looking for new employment into the fold, thereby adding competition to what is otherwise a seeker's market.
Yet another economic component the Great Recession negatively impacted shows signs of improvement. The revised, fourth-quarter 2015 GDP of 1.4% outpaced estimates and finished the year on a decided upswing. The momentum of 2015 has continued into 2016, with consumer spending up -- albeit at a small rate -- per Gallup survey data . So what does that mean for the job market?
Positives can and should be gleaned from improved labor market numbers, but a return to pre-recession employment percentages do not indicate a complete recovery from the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. Reintegrating workers who stopped looking or couldn't look for employment altogether is the next phase in the job market recovery, which Five Thirty Eight's Ben Casselman addresses in his column .
U.S. Department of Labor employment numbers for February 2016 far exceeded economist expectations. The labor market added around 242,000 jobs for the month, more than 50,000 than the month's projection. Revisions to the December and January totals were also announced Friday. Despite stock market turbulence and tumbling oil prices -- or perhaps because of those factors -- the strong February hiring numbers are the best indicator yet that the 2016 job market is friendly to seekers.
Despite employment gains below projections, U.S. unemployment through January 2016 is below 5% for the first time since the great recession began in 2008. The first Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs report of 2016 has some other interesting information, as well. A Reuters poll of economists projected January growth around 190,000. The reported 151,000 fell below that mark, but comfortably exceeded the 100,000 barrier Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in December were necessary each month of 2016. to stay on pace with the working-age population.
The employment numbers for Oct. 2015, released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Friday, are the year's best and well ahead of projections at 271,000. October's hiring boom suggests a healthy holiday season to come, as the total employment nationwide has historically improved from October to December, dropping just twice in the last decade.