The year started with positive indicators for employment and predictions of a job seekers’ market and higher salaries. Six months into the year, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) report dated July 7, 2017 showed an average growth rate of 194,000 jobs per month for the three previous months, up from 2016, with average hourly earnings up 2.5% year over year. Manufacturing growth has remained flat with an average addition of 12,000 jobs per month.
Predictions for the second half of 2017 forecast slow, steady growth in the 2 to 2.5% range as the markets near conditions of low unemployment. Wage growth, which has been slow, may begin to pick up steam as the country nears low unemployment and companies must do more to attract and retain qualified workers.
One good sign for EHS professionals is that U.S. News & World Report ranks Environmental Engineers #34 on its Top 100 Jobs Report for 2017. With an unemployment rate of only 0.8% and an “above average” employment satisfaction rating, the report forecasts a growth rate of 12.4% for the Environmental Engineering field over the next ten years.