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最近美国这三个行业的就业形势急剧恶化

Erik Sherman 2019年06月12日

美国在今年5月有三个行业的表现特别惨淡。

高预期可以休矣。

经济学家此前估算今年5月美国将新增18.5万个就业机会。然而,上周五出炉的数据显示这个数字只有7.5万个,仅能抵销3月和4月数据向下修正的影响。

美联储前成员、招聘软件公司iCIMS的首席经济学家约书亚·赖特说:“就算就业市场和整体增长只是因为周期性原因而转头向下,那也意味着可以消化负面冲击的能力变弱了。”这还不算“红色警报”,但表明“容错空间缩小了”。

此外,今年5月有三个行业的表现特别惨淡。

零售

在全面陷入低迷的零售业中,服装零售受到的打击尤为沉重,该领域里的就业机会减少了1.27万个,整体压力则来自于高负债和不断上升的关税税率。市场调研机构IHS Markit的数据显示,在美国销售的所有服装和纺织品中,源于中国的产品几乎占45%。

佛罗里达海湾海岸大学Lutgert商学院的自由企业专业副教授维克多·克拉尔指出:“这个月,服装零售业就业再次急速下滑,原因是关闭所有门店或者大幅压缩规模的服装零售商越来越多。最近至少关闭部分店铺的公司就包括Dressbarn,而且上个月它刚刚宣布要关掉自己所有的650家门店。”

正如赖特所言,零售销售同样减少,而且零售店经营商也可能裁员。他说:“另一点也很重要,那就是电子商务仍然有深度颠覆作用,原因是直接面对消费者的模式仍然处于结构性上升态势。”

建筑

建筑业对天气的依赖程度特别高。该行业里的就业机会减少9400个可能源于时间选择和气候问题。

克拉尔说:“大型民用工程包括道路和公路施工等。这些项目经常受到天气类因素的干扰,比如洪水、龙卷风和飓风,就像最近在中西部接二连三出现的龙卷风那样。”

美国很多地区洪水泛滥是建筑活动被迫暂停的另一个原因。坏消息中的好消息是遭到破坏后需要进行维修,而这可能推动建筑业就业机会上升。

教育

即使有季节性,但州和地方教育的就业机会减少1.44万个看起来仍然是重大滑坡,而且也超过了人们基于历史数据的预期。

不过,这个数字可能受到了时间和调查方式的双重影响。正如莱特指出的那样,教师罢工“可能是个影响因素”,而这正是调查的时间和方式发挥作用之处。政府就业数据靠的是此前一周有工作的人做出的回答。它有可能把罢工人员算作失业者,而在今年5月,北卡罗莱纳的教师们正在罢工。

另一个原因是低工资造成教师离职人数达到历史最高点。

一个月的数据并不代表某种趋势。市场观察人士将更密切地关注6月和7月的就业情况,以便判断5月的数据是短暂下滑,还是普通劳动者艰难时期就要到来的前兆。(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

So much for high expectations.

Economists had estimated that 185,000 jobs would be added in May. Instead, numbers out last Friday show that only 75,000 positions were added. And those only made up for the 75,000 job downward revision for March and April.

“Even if the labor market and overall growth are just downshifting for cyclical reasons, that suggests less capacity to absorb a negative shock,” said Joshua Wright, a former Fed staffer and chief Economist at recruitment software company iCIMS. It’s not a “red alert” time but shows “less margin for error.”

Beyond that, three sectors had an especially tough month.

Retail

The apparel consumer sales sector, which lost 12,700 jobs, has been particularly hard hit in the misery that has become retail, with overall pressure driven by high debt and rising tariff rates. China is the source of almost 45% of all apparel and textile sales in the U.S., according to data from IHS Markit.

“Employment in the clothing retail segment continues its steep decline again this month as an increasing number of key players in that segment are either closing all of their locations or downsizing in aggressive ways,” said Victor Claar, an associate professor of free enterprise at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Lutgert College of Business. “The latest firms shutting at least some of their doors include Dressbarn which just last month announced they are shuttering doors at all 650 locations.”

Retail sales have also seen weakness, as Wright points out, and so store operators might well cut positions. “It’s also important to keep mind the ongoing deep disruption from e-commerce as direct-to-consumer business models are still on a structural uptrend,” he said.

Construction

Construction is a particularly weather-dependent industry. The loss of 9,400 jobs is probably an issue of timing and climate events.

“Heavy and civil construction includes projects such as road and highway construction,” Claar said. “These projects are frequently disrupted by weather events such as flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes, like the recent spate of tornadoes in the Midwest.”

Massive flooding, which splayed across much of the country, is another reason why activity would have to be halted. The bad-news-but-good-news is that with the damage done, repairs will be necessary, likely driving an increase in sector employment.

Education

Even with seasonality, the loss of 14,400 education jobs at the state and local levels seemed heavy and beyond what one might have expected given historical data.

However, this result might be a combination of timing and survey methods. As Wright pointed out, teacher strikes would be a “potential contributing factor.” And that’s where timing and survey methods come in. Government numbers of employment depend on people answering that they worked within the previous week. People on strike would be counted as unemployed and North Carolina teachers went on strike in May.

Then there’s the low pay that has sent teachers quitting at a record pace.

One month does not a trend make. Market watchers will be paying greater attention to jobs numbers for June and July to see if May was just a blip—or a harbinger of hard times ahead for workers.

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