Some Americans Still Being Left Out of the Economy
Despite being largely positive across the board, both the mining sector and a concern over labor shortages in the future expose warts in the American economy, according to the ADP National Employment Report.
The mining sector lost roughly 1,000 jobs from July to August, marking it as one of the two industries down since July. The mining industry was and is one of the focal points of the Trump administration, which has promised to bring back good blue-collar jobs to the U.S.
Part of the reason that the U.S. is currently so divided is the resentment that rural and urban America hold for each other. Many articles have been written on the growing divide between the “coastal elites” and rural residents, and one of the reasons for Donald Trump’s election victory is partially based on that divide. After all, Trump largely won rural states and counties, while many cities went against the current president.
One of Trump’s promises was to prioritize the mining industry, with an emphasis on coal mining and other jobs in the sector that allow a path to the middle-class for those without degrees or advanced training. With many educated residents fleeing to cities—often where job opportunities are much higher—an effort to revitalize these communities through mining reintroduction appealed to many residents.
But the data from this August paints a different story, showing that mining has once more failed to not only add jobs, but has in fact lost positions across the country. While Trump is embattled by a great many different political and social issues, the promise to power the mining industry back into relevance is one that is critical to many of his constituents.
The report also warned of a labor shortage, with one analyst saying that it’s likely to get “much worse.”
Labor shortages can often drive wages up, but with many Americans either leaving the workforce or taking on underemployment (two metrics that don’t contribute to the unemployment rating) and the U.S.’s inability to fill these positions with working Americans, it paints a negative picture for the future of the economy.
“ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 237,000 Jobs in August,” ADP, August 30, 2017.