Industry News

Energy prices threaten U.S. labor market

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

The Conference Board today announced that its Help-Wanted Advertising Index, a key measure of job offerings in major newspapers across America, dipped one point in March to 38. In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in five of the nine U.S. regions. Largest declines occurred in the East South Central (-13.1 percent), West North Central (-6.7 percent) and East North Central (-5.6 percent) regions. The largest increases occurred in the West South Central (11.7 percent) and Mountain (7.6 percent) regions. "If the economy cools a little, under the unrelenting pressure of higher energy prices, the labor market might also cool. Even if energy prices were not going through the roof, the biggest roadblock would still be the cost of a new hire," said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board. "Average hourly wage increases are picking up. Benefit costs (especially to cover health insurance premiums) are also moving higher. And pension costs remain h...