In February 2016, U.S. employers added 242,000 jobs while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9 percent. Average hourly wages declined 3 cents to $25.35, reversing recent signs of pickup in their annual growth rate. Compared to a year ago, wages are up 2.2 percent.
The share of Americans working or looking for work (known as the labor-force participation rate) climbed to 62.9 percent, an increase of 0.5 percentage points over the past six months.
Job growth was solid for industries tied to the services economy in February 12016. Education and health services led job creation, adding 86,000 jobs, followed by employment gains in retail trade, restaurants and bars, and construction. Low oil prices continued to impact the mining industry, a sector that includes oil and gas – employment in mining decreased by 19,000.
Gig Economy Accounts for 6.5% of the U.S. Workforce
A new study by the JPMorgan Chase Institute titled “Paychecks, Paydays and the Online Platform Economy” reveals that gig jobs are easier to find for workers and help to generate additional income. According to the study, 6.5 percent of the U.S. economy is made of up of gig jobs. Participants in the gig economy are typically younger, with the
25-34 age group accounting for the largest part of the gig workforce. Additionally, they are more likely to be male, live in the Western United Sates, and have an average median income of about $2,800 per month.
Over the three-year period of the study, the number of people earning income in the gig economy has increased 47-fold. Demand is driving the growth as online service use of labor platforms, such as Uber and Airbnb, becomes more common. While the platform economy is getting bigger, people are quitting their primary jobs for this type of work. Monthly earnings from online platforms were as much as $530 or 33 percent of people’s total monthly income on average.
“There’s no question that the ability to participate in these platforms has lower transaction costs than in the traditional workforce. People are finding it easier to get in and out faster and that’s got to be good.” ~Diana Farrell, Founding President and CEO of the JPMorgan Chase Institute
The Average Work Week is47-Hours
A recent report by Gallup showed that the average time worked by full-time employees is up to 46.7 hours per week. Just 40 percent of Americans who work full time say they work the standard 40 hours per week. Another 50 percent say they work more than that.
Average Hours Worked by Full-time U.S. Workers
This indicates that the average number of hours worked per week is the highest it’s been since 2001-2002, when the average was 46.9 hours. For salaried workers, the workweek is even longer at an average of 49 hours, probably because employers are not concerned with paying overtime. According to the poll, half of salaried full-time workers said they worked over 50 hours each week.
Freelance Work Growth in Switzerland
One in four people in Switzerland work at a freelance job and another 25 percent would like to in 2017, according to a new study by Deloitte. The study, surveying 1,000 Swiss workers, found that one-third of the 25 percent who were currently working as freelancers were doing it full-time. The most common types of work in the freelance economy were consultancy, IT, design and editorial. Additionally, 28 percent work at least half a day per week from home, a percentage that is likely to rise as more companies adapt to this trend and create co-working spaces.
Workforce Composition in Switzerland
“Today’s jobs report revealed strong gains for the U.S. workforce, but more importantly, the data shows there’s room for this labor market to grow. Employers added a robust 242,000 jobs, but with essentially zero wage gains amid strong demand. In this environment, there’s definitely potential to bring more people off the sidelines if wages increase more.” ~Tara Sinclair, Chief Economist of Indeed