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2019 Employment Trends – North America

North America is expected to reach its lowest unemployment rate in 2019. According to the International Labour Organization, the combined unemployment rate of both the United States and Canada will hit 4.1% this year, the lowest unemployment rate in almost 50 years. Unemployment in the United States should remain stable throughout the year—however, the unemployment rate in Canada is increasing. As a result, the total North American unemployment rate will rise during 2020.

Employment Outlook by Industry

The unemployment rate in the United States has continued to decrease more than predicted, reaching only 3.8% in February 2019. Industries seeing a rise in employment opportunities this year include professional and business services, healthcare, and wholesale trade, while the construction industry has lost jobs according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In contrast, the unemployment rate in Canada has increased during the beginning of this year, jumping to 5.8%, the highest in four months. Despite this, Canada’s economy continually strives to create jobs, emphasizing full-time positions while seeing a decrease in part-time employment opportunities. Canadian industries with the most growth potential include technical services, public administration, and agriculture, while the transportation, hospitality, and food services industries have seen a decrease in workers.

Employment Outlook by Demographic

North America has seen a decrease in the number of young people actively participating in the workforce, likely because more young adults are pursuing secondary education in both the United States and Canada. The ILO reports that the enrollment rates for secondary education among teenagers have increased to 82.5% in the U.S. and 78.4% in Canada. Adding more educated employees to the labor pool may have long-term benefits that outweigh the drawbacks of a younger demographic delaying their entry to the workforce.

That said, workers ages 25-54 are participating in the U.S. workforce at a lower rate, while the same age group of workers has stayed consistent in Canada. Surprisingly, older generations (ages 55+) have dramatically increased their participation in the workforce in North America. Working women have also increased their numbers in both the U.S. and Canada, leading to the highest number of women in the workforce in five years.

CFR Global Executive Search in North America

If changes in 2019 North American job market trends are affecting your business or job search, CFR Global Executive Search can help you identify solutions and opportunities. Our understanding of the local marketplace makes it easy to find the best-fit employees to grow the success of your company, industry, and the economy.