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Uncertainty Clouds Our View

Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group 2020 Annual Economic Outlook

The current economic upswing in the United States, which has been in place since July 2009, is the longest continuous expansion since at least the mid-1850s. Although there is a popular perception that the U.S. economy is “due” for a recession, the passage of time does not necessarily make an economy more vulnerable to a downturn. Indeed, our base-case scenario calls for the U.S. economic expansion to continue through the end of our forecast period in Q4-2021, and we forecast that economic growth will remain positive over that period in most major foreign economies as well. But as the title of this report indicates, there are a number of notable uncertainties that cloud our vision at present. In our view, an economic downturn is not likely in the foreseeable future, but one is more than just a remote possibility. 

Recessions happen in one of two ways. First, an “exogenous” shock can lead to an economic contraction. For example, the moonshot in oil prices that occurred in the aftermath of the OPEC oil embargo in late 1973 was the proximate cause of the deep downturn in the U.S. economy in 1974 and 1975. A near trebling of oil prices in the months following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in July 1990 contributed to the 1990-1991 contraction in U.S. real GDP. But many exogenous shocks are difficult if not impossible to foresee, and most forecasters generally refrain from incorporating them explicitly in their outlooks. 

Second, economies can also slip into recession when imbalances build up in an important sector, such as housing in the previous decade or the tech sector in the 1990s. A sudden unwinding of these imbalances can then lead to an economy-wide downturn. A hallmark of the current expansion in the U.S. economy is its relative lack of large and noticeable imbalances. Consequently, our base-case scenario calls for the U.S. economy to continue to expand. That said, the 2 percent or so GDP growth rates that we forecast for next year and 2021 are hardly robust. Similarly, we look for the global economy to continue to expand through at least the end of 2021, but the 3 percent growth rates that we look for over the next two years are slower than the 3.5 percent per annum growth rate that the global economy has averaged since 1980. 

Uncertainties related to the U.S.-China trade war have held back investment spending in the United States in recent quarters, and sluggish growth in capex spending has acted as a governor on overall GDP growth in the U.S. economy. However, strong fundamentals in the household sector have continued to support solid growth in consumer spending. In our view, trade policy uncertainties, which have weighed on investment spending, are not likely to dissipate anytime soon. Although the United States and China may very well agree to a Phase I trade deal, we are skeptical that the two sides will come to agreement on a comprehensive deal that returns tariffs to their pre-trade war levels, at least not in the foreseeable future. Consequently, we forecast that growth in investment spending in the United States will remain lackluster. 

If our base-case scenario of modest U.S. economic growth in the next two years is reasonably accurate, then the Federal Reserve likely will refrain from tightening monetary policy over our forecast period. Our base-case scenario looks for the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to cut rates one more time (by 25 bps) in early 2020. We then look for the FOMC to maintain the resulting target range for the fed funds rate of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent through the end of 2021. 

Growth in investment spending in many foreign economies likely will also remain sluggish as long as trade tensions between the United States and China, the two largest economies in the world, continue to linger. And with monetary accommodation in many major foreign economies at its limits and with policymakers in those economies unable or unwilling to undertake expansionary fiscal policies, meaningful acceleration in foreign economic activity does not seem very likely. Although monetary policy in major foreign economies probably will not become significantly more accommodative, central banks in those economies likely will not be tightening policy anytime soon either. 

The trade-weighted value of the U.S. dollar is more or less unchanged on balance relative to a year ago. Although the Federal Reserve has cut rates by 75 bps since July, most major central banks have continued to maintain extraordinarily accommodative policy stances. With interest rates expected to remain historically low for the foreseeable future, foreign exchange market participants may well look toward economic growth differentials for insight into currency market moves. With U.S. economic growth expected to slow further, at least in the near term, and with foreign economic growth showing some signs of bottoming out, we look for the U.S. dollar to depreciate modestly over the course of the coming year.

But a Number of Uncertainties Remain 

As noted earlier, there are a number of uncertainties that cloud our outlook. For starters, trade negotiations between the United States and China could conceivably turn acrimonious again, which could lead to even higher tariffs. Not only would another increase in tariffs weigh further on investment spending, but higher prices for consumer goods would erode growth in real income that could exert headwinds on growth in consumer spending. On the other hand, negotiators from the two countries could conceivably reach a comprehensive trade deal that leads to the complete removal of tariffs. In that event, the economic outlook would improve markedly. Unfortunately, trade policy outcomes are ultimately political decisions into which we have few insights. In other words, our vision regarding the political decisions that will determine trade policy is clouded. 

There are also uncertainties related to the November 2020 U.S. election to consider. There currently are a record number of individuals seeking the Democratic nomination for president, and their policy proposals span a wide range from center-left candidates such as former Vice President Biden and Mayor Buttigieg to more progressive candidates such as Senators Warren and Sanders. President Trump likely would pursue a whole different set of policies than his Democratic rivals if he is re-elected for a second term. Although we do not opine on the candidates in this report, we offer a description of some of the major policy proposals of the frontrunners. There is also the make-up of the next Congress to consider, which is impossible to predict at this point. 

How will individuals and businesses react to the inherent uncertainty that the election imparts? Although we found that prior elections have not had a discernably negative effect on the U.S. economy, could the polarized nature of American politics today and the wide range of potential policy outcomes cause consumers and businesses to take a cautious approach to spending in 2020? 

The foreign economic outlook is not immune to uncertainties either. Much like the U.S. economy, the outlook in most foreign economies could be meaningfully affected by the different trade policy outcomes. That is, the outlook in these economies would brighten if trade tensions between the United States and China subside and, conversely, the outlook would darken if tensions ratchet up further. In addition, the U.K. parliamentary election results will have major implications for the Brexit process that has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the U.K. economy for more than three years. A Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong, should one occur, could impart a negative shock to global growth prospects. 

In sum, we believe that the economic expansion that has been under way in the United States for more than 10 years will continue for the foreseeable future, albeit at a subdued pace. Likewise, we forecast that economic growth in most foreign economies will remain modest over the next two years. But all economic forecasts, even in the best of times, are subject to at least a bit of uncertainty. In our view, the unsettled political and geopolitical environment at present imparts more uncertainty than usual into the economic outlook.

The Economic Outlook in an Environment of Uncertainty 

2019 was the year in which the U.S. economy broke the record for the longest economic expansion, and our forecast anticipates that this upswing can be sustained through 2021 provided a reasonable détente could be reached in the trade war. U.S. economic growth remained positive this year despite a global slowdown and a pervasive sense of uncertainty for business leaders and financial markets. Recent rate cuts from the Federal Reserve have returned at least a modest upward slope to the yield curve, alleviating one of the recession warning signs that was flashing yellow just a few months ago. A “settled rulebook for global trade,” as Chairman Powell referred to it, would go a long way in reducing the largest source of this uncertainty, though remarkably the trade war has not been the millstone some analysts feared it might be. The slump still under way in the manufacturing sector has not yet bled into the service economy in a major way or caused serious restraints in consumer spending.

All this is occurring alongside a relentless torrent of trade-related developments, including ongoing talks with China, the ratification of the USMCA and potential (though unlikely in our view) auto tariffs. Interestingly, this is frustratingly reminiscent of how the year began, with a 35-day shutdown that did not end until January 25, 2019. Of course, 2020 is also an election year, which could impart even more uncertainty as November 3 approaches.

Our baseline expectation is that a trade war alone will not bring the U.S. economy to its knees. Our forecast has the slow-growth expansion getting even weaker, at least in the near term, but – critically – we avoid recession. The nuances of the forecast come down to the outlook for trade – frustratingly, an unknowable factor as it is largely a political decision. If the trade war escalates much more than we presently expect and we do get a recession, then sending in the cavalry will be trickier than in prior cycles. The fiscal policy response could be limited by large and growing budget deficits. The monetary policy response would be bounded by the fact that the fed funds rate would be starting at a much lower point than in prior cycles. So as we make our case for where we see the U.S. economy heading, we also consider the upside and downside risks to our forecast from different trade policy assumptions. 

No Recession, Expansion Continues, Proceed with Caution 

We suspect that a comprehensive trade agreement will remain out of reach. But unlike 2019, when the cost of the trade war was progressively rising, we do not expect trade prospects to get meaningfully worse in 2020. 

Even without any deterioration with respect to the trade situation, we are looking for modest growth in the final quarter of 2019, with real GDP rising at an annualized rate of just 1.5 percent. Much of the weakness in the rate of GDP growth in Q4-2019 is due to sluggishness in business fixed investment spending and a continued drag from less inventory building. Residential construction activity, which is picking up slightly, is a silver lining in an otherwise cautious forecast. Given the tendency of homebuilding to have a multiplier effect, improvement in that sector may produce some additional follow-through into other areas of the economy. Even with our forecast for a weak fourth quarter, real GDP remains on track for a 2.3 percent calendar-year gain for 2019, right in line with the average annual growth rate for this expansion. 

Mark Twain once famously quipped that rumors of his death had been exaggerated. For now, Twain’s joke appears to be applicable to all the hand-wringing over imminent recession that gripped financial markets at various points earlier this year, culminating in a yield curve that remained inverted for weeks during the summer. Yet other than the pullback in manufacturing and some diminished confidence on the part of both businesses and consumers, the U.S. economy continues to expand. The FOMC has been proactive, cutting the federal funds rate 25 bps three times this year and providing needed liquidity to short-term funding markets by starting to expand its balance sheet again with purchases of short-term Treasury bills.

None of this is to suggest that slowdown fears were entirely misplaced. Job growth had indeed slowed throughout the first part of the year, but not declined outright even in the face of capital spending cuts, disruption in supply chains, Boeing problems with its 737 MAX, and the recently settled strike at General Motors. Given those challenges, the 128,000 new jobs originally reported in October was surprisingly resilient. Employers added an average of 193,000 jobs per month in the third quarter. But the most recent jobs report revealed renewed strength in the labor market. Employers added 266,000 jobs in November and October’s gain was revised higher by 28,000 jobs. We expect that the pace of hiring will slow going forward, but it defies the rumors of death for the longest expansion on record. 

Speaking of rumors, it takes little more than just a glimmer of hope to move the needle in financial markets these days in the context of a potential resolution to the trade war. The manufacturing sector is ready for an armistice. The ISM manufacturing index remained in contraction territory for the fourth straight month at 48.1 in November. Just the mere indication of a thawing in trade tensions in October lifted the export orders index 9.4 points to 50.4 in October – its largest one-month rise ever. But, the index gave back some of that gain in November, when the prospects of a Phase I trade deal subsided, falling back into contraction at 47.9. That October surge, however, indicates that capital spending could snap back quickly if the headwinds from the trade war truly subside. 

Beyond the capex outlook, households are in a relatively strong position today. The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence peaked in October 2018, but it remains historically high and the household saving rate is currently around 8 percent. Wages and salaries may have decelerated somewhat, but they are still up at a 4.3 percent annualized rate over the past three months, enough to sustain solid growth in consumer spending. Interestingly, wages are rising fastest at the lower end of the income spectrum, where workers tend to spend a larger portion of their take-home pay.

Until consumer fundamentals return to where they were prior to the escalation of the trade war, we have only modest growth in our outlook, looking for real personal consumption expenditures (PCE) to rise at a rate of just 2.1 percent in Q4 and to remain near this growth rate throughout most of the forecast period. Due to low base effects after a particularly soft ending to retail sales in 2018, our 2019 holiday retail sales forecast looks for a 5 percent jump from the same period last year. The recent pick-up in home sales, should it be maintained, could be a factor that boosts consumer spending. Most of the improvement has been in new home sales, where builders have found ways to deliver homes priced for first-time buyers. We look for new home sales to rise 9.4 percent this year and to grow nearly 4 percent in 2020. 

Given the recent improvement in the economic outlook, doubts are surfacing as to whether the FOMC will cut rates any further. At least some members of the FOMC have not been on board with the three rate cuts that the Committee has already implemented. The presidents of the Boston and Kansas City Federal Reserve banks dissented at all three policy meetings, preferring to leave rates unchanged. Furthermore, Fed Chair Powell has observed that although “monetary policy is a powerful tool that works to support consumer spending, business investment, and public confidence, it cannot provide a settled rulebook for international trade.” 

Although the statement at the conclusion of the October 30 FOMC meeting acknowledged a “strong” labor market and an economy “rising at a moderate rate,” it also noted that both headline and core inflation are stuck below the Fed’s 2 percent target. The Committee pledged to monitor incoming information. In our view, the FOMC is signaling that it likely is nearing the end of its “mid-cycle” period of easing, but it also does not have a preconceived notion of how policy will necessarily evolve. Therefore, we are not convinced the FOMC is done cutting rates just yet. With real GDP appearing to grow at a sub­ 2 percent rate in Q4-2019 and an inflation rate that is having difficulty edging above 2 percent on a sustained basis, we think the Committee will decide to cut rates another 25 bps in Q1-2020. (This forecast was predicated, at least in part, on our assumption that additional tariffs were to be levied on December 15.). Financial markets are not priced at present for additional tariffs, and market volatility could return, which would tighten financial conditions. If, as we forecast, real GDP growth edges a bit higher later next year, then we think the Committee will decide that no further easing is needed. But we also forecast that the FOMC will refrain from raising rates for the foreseeable future. In other words, interest rates likely will remain low for quite some time. 

Downside Risk: What If the Trade War is Not Resolved? 

The trade war has already taken a toll on various measures of U.S. manufacturing activity. The ISM manufacturing survey has included references to the tariffs or trade war in every month of 2019. We have also seen weakness in hard data such as orders and shipments. Core capital goods shipments rose 0.8 percent in October, but that came after declining the prior three months, leaving the three-month annualized rate of growth for this category at -3.3 percent. It is difficult to get excited about a near-term turnaround in business investment given the fact that despite a 1.1 percent gain in October, core capital goods orders declined the prior two months and are down 1.8 percent on a three-month annualized basis. The most recent data mean equipment spending is poised for a slight rebound in Q4, but nevertheless the trend in orders growth remains generally uninspiring. When we look at forward-looking measures of equipment spending like surveys and capital expenditure plans, there is a similar lack of conviction on the part of purchasing managers.

There have been instances – for example in May – when prospects of a major trade deal between the United States and China appeared to be at hand only for the budding agreement to be scuppered. In prior instances of failed talks, the United States has upped the ante by either raising tariff rates or exposing a new category of goods to tariffs. If a new round of tariffs goes into effect in the future, then 97 percent of U.S. imports of Chinese goods will be subject to tariffs. Without much in the way of new categories to subject to tariffs, further increases in the tariff rates would appear to be the most likely next step. So if the gloves come off completely, it stands to reason that businesses will hunker down and put off any major spending plans until the dust has settled on trade policy. Supply chain disruption, not just in the United States but all over the globalized manufacturing system, would become more difficult to avoid.

Amid the backdrop of apprehension over the past year, solid growth in consumer spending has been a needed and sometimes vital counterweight to those fears. Dissenting voters in the FOMC have even pointed to the robust pace of consumer spending to raise doubts about the need for more accommodative monetary policy. Initial concerns that the tariffs would immediately lead to higher inflation and hit consumers’ wallets have proven to be ill-founded. Because the initial rounds of tariffs largely targeted intermediate goods, they have so far – and by design – avoided directly impacting the typical U.S. consumer. More recent rounds impact finished goods such as toys, clothing, and consumer electronics. This more direct consumer exposure gives this last round of tariffs the capacity to impact U.S. inflation and consumer spending more meaningfully than earlier rounds did.

Still, consumer spending will not necessarily crater just because tariffs may push up prices of consumer goods. A typical household devotes only a third of its overall spending to goods. The other two-thirds is devoted to services, which have not been subject to tariffs. But higher good prices will lead to lower sales of those items, or squeeze wallet share for other spending, including services. The saving rate could also recede as consumers would only be able to stretch a paycheck so far. 

Although further increases in tariffs likely would push up inflation, the FOMC probably would respond to any intensification in the trade war by cutting rates further. Tariff hikes probably would cause just a one-off rise in the price level. That is, inflation would not continue to climb steadily higher on an ongoing basis. But any slowing in consumer spending growth due to deceleration in real income would cause further slowing in overall real GDP growth. In our view, the FOMC would look through the one-off increase in the price level and would ease monetary policy further in an effort to cushion the economy from the tariff-induced weakening in real PCE growth.

Upside Risk: What If the Trade War is Resolved Amicably? 

If the United States and China actually agree to a comprehensive (i.e., more than just $40 billion or so of American exports of agricultural goods) trade deal, then there is scope for the economy to find a higher gear in the year ahead. Without political editorializing, it stands to reason that with the election approaching, the current administration could reap some benefit from an amicably resolved trade situation and the faster growth backdrop that would likely accompany it. 

The most vulnerable part of the economy in 2019 has been the retrenchment in capital spending and the production cuts and softening in manufacturing employment that have come with it. Based on the fact that the export orders component of the ISM posted a record monthly increase in October on the mere indication of a trade deal suggests to us that the manufacturing sector is like a coiled spring that is being held back, at least in part, by the difficulty of complying with an ever-changing list of imported goods subjected to tariffs. The survey data from the ISM corroborate a similar sentiment that we hear in client meetings and trade shows with businesses in the manufacturing sector. 

As noted previously, the consumer impact from the trade war is evident in two ways. The first is that confidence, while still elevated, has been knocked down from the highs of autumn 2018 before the trade war with China picked up in earnest. The second is the fact that the latest rounds of tariffs has the potential to meaningfully impact prices for consumer goods that were not previously subject to tariffs. Both of these factors would reverse if the United States and China were to agree to a trade deal. In such an environment, consumer spending could return to the healthier pace of growth that existed prior to the escalation of the trade war, perhaps on the order of 3-to-4 percent on an annualized basis. 

As the economic outlook improves, the case for further Fed easing would not be very compelling. In fact, the FOMC could even start to reverse its recent rate cuts. Such a complete trajectory reversal would be unlikely in 2020, particularly as the FOMC might wish to avoid any perception of monetary policy interference as the election approaches, but rate hikes could become more likely in 2021 in such a scenario.

The full 2020 Annual Economic Outlook is available at wellsfargo.com/economicoutlook

This feature appeared in the February 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

TRIP Report: INCREASED DEMAND FOR U.S. FREIGHT SHIPMENTS HAMPERED BY LACK OF ADEQUATE INVESTMENT IN NEEDED HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS

INCREASED DEMAND FOR U.S. FREIGHT SHIPMENTS HAMPERED BY TRAFFIC CONGESTION AND BOTTLENECKS AND LACK OF ADEQUATE INVESTMENT IN NEEDED HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS; FATAL TRUCK CRASHES INCREASING AT A TIME WHEN ADVANCES IN VEHICLE AUTONOMY, MANUFACTURING, WAREHOUSING & E-COMMERCE ARE PLACING UNPRECEDENTED DEMANDS ON THE NATION’S FREIGHT SYSTEM

 The ability of the nation’s freight transportation system to efficiently and safely accommodate the growing demand for freight movement could be hampered by inadequate transportation capacity, institutional barriers to enhancing the nation’s freight facilities, a lack of adequate funding for needed improvements to the freight network, and a shortage of drivers, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit. This is happening as freight movement is being transformed by advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation, increasing e-commerce, and the growing logistic networks being developed to accommodate consumer demand for faster delivery.

TRIP’s report, America’s Rolling Warehouses: Opportunities and Challenges with the Nation’s Freight Delivery System, examines current and projected levels of freight movement in the U.S., large truck safety, and trends impacting freight movement. It concludes with a series of recommendations to improve the nation’s freight transportation system. The chart below shows the states with the highest value of freight by all modes of transportation in 2016, states with the highest share of rural interstate vehicle miles of travel (VMT) by combination trucks, states with the largest average annual number of large truck fatalities per one million population from 2013-2017, and states with the largest projected increase in freight by value between 2016 and 2045.

TRIP’s report found that freight delivery is expected to increase rapidly as a result of economic growth, increasing demand, growing international trade, changing business and retail models, and a significantly increased reliance on e-commerce by businesses and households. Each year, the U.S. freight system moves approximately 17.7 billion tons of freight, valued at $16.8 trillion. Trucks carried 72 percent of freight by value in 2016 and 66 percent by weight. From 2016 to 2045, freight moved annually in the U.S. by trucks is expected to increase 91 percent in value (inflation-adjusted dollars) and 44 percent by weight.

“The new TRIP report again highlights the urgent need for federal action to modernize America’s infrastructure,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Transportation Infrastructure Ed Mortimer. “The future of our country’s ability to compete in a 21st century economy by providing the safe movement of commerce is at stake, and this report helps bring a spotlight to the issue.”

The TRIP report also found that 12 percent of travel on Interstate highways and 21 percent of travel on rural Interstate highways is by combination trucks.

“TRIP’s report makes an important contribution to a growing body of evidence that our deteriorating infrastructure is putting the brakes on our economy,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Association. “The cost of doing nothing is too high and will only get higher if our leaders do not step up and put forward a comprehensive investment package backed by real funding.”

While the amount and value of goods being shipped has risen to unprecedented levels, mounting traffic congestion is increasing the cost of moving freight and reducing the economic competitiveness and efficiency of businesses that require reliable, affordable freight transportation. Traffic congestion resulted in $74.5 billion in additional operational costs to the trucking industry in 2016 as a result of commercial trucks being stuck in traffic for 1.2 billion hours.

“Infrastructure issues lead to increased shipping costs, delayed delivery times, and decreased productivity for U.S. manufacturers,” said Doosan Bobcat North America President Mike Ballweber. “Whether it’s a hauling 7,500-pound skid-steer loader to a customer in Georgia or a shipment of attachments to a dealership in Arizona, we depend on the U.S. freight transportation system to deliver our products efficiently and safely. I encourage our lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to make transportation infrastructure a priority and fund needed repairs and upgrades to our roads, highways and bridges.”

According to the TRIP report, traffic fatalities as a result of crashes involving large trucks (10,000 lbs. or greater) increased 20 percent, from 2013 (3,981) to 2017 (4,761) in.  Approximately five-out-of-six people killed in crashes involving a large truck were occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash or pedestrians or bicyclists.  The most frequent event prior to fatal crashes between large trucks and another vehicle is the entering or encroaching into a large truck’s lane by the other vehicle.

“It’s clear that the safe and efficient movement of goods and services depends on a well-funded national transportation system,” said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “Without strong investment from our federal partners, state departments of transportation won’t be able to meet the growing demands on the system.”

Advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation have transformed freight delivery, along with increases in e-commerce and the growing logistic networks being developed by Amazon and other large retailers. A lack of adequate parking for large trucks and a shortage of available truck drivers, particularly for long-haul trips, challenge the safety and efficiency of the nation’s freight system.

TRIP’s report concludes with a series of recommendations to improve freight transportation by increasing capacity on the nation’s freight transportation system, particularly at major bottlenecks; improving the reliability and condition of intermodal connectors between major highways and rail, ports and waterways; continued development of vehicle autonomy and the further automation of warehousing; improving roadway safety and providing additional truck parking spaces to ensure adequate and timely rest for drivers; providing funding for freight transportation improvements that is substantial, continuing, multimodal, reliable, and, in most cases, specifically dedicated to freight transportation projects; and, providing a permanent, adequate and reliable funding fix to the federal Highway Trust Fund as a critical step towards funding a 21st Century freight transportation system.

“As consumers demand faster deliveries and a more responsive supply chain, the nation’s freight transportation network is facing unprecedented roadblocks in the form of increasing congestion and a lack of transportation funding to improve the nation’s transportation system,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP.  “Fixing the federal Highway Trust Fund with a long-term, sustainable source of revenue that supports needed transportation investment will be crucial to improving the efficiency and safety of our freight transportation system.”

Executive Summary

The nation’s freight transportation system plays a vital role in the quality of life of Americans, providing the timely movement of raw materials and finished products that are vital to the health of the U.S. agricultural, industrial, energy, retail and service sectors.

The amount of freight transported in the U.S. is expected to increase significantly as a result of further economic growth, changing business and retail models, increasing international trade, and  rapidly changing consumer expectations that place an emphasis on faster deliveries, often of smaller packages or payloads.

The ability of the nation’s freight transportation system to efficiently and safely accommodate the growing demand for freight movement could be hampered by inadequate transportation capacity, a lack of adequate safety features on some transportation facilities, institutional barriers to enhancing the nation’s freight facilities, a lack of adequate funding for needed improvements to the freight network and a shortage of drivers.

The need to improve the U.S. freight network is occurring at a time when the nation’s freight delivery system is being transformed by advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation, increasing e-commerce, and the growing logistic networks being developed by Amazon and other retail organizations in response to the demand for a faster and more responsive delivery and logistics cycle.

This report examines current and projected levels of freight movement in the U.S., large truck safety, and trends impacting freight movement. It concludes with a series of recommendations to improve the nation’s freight transportation system.

U.S. FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION TRENDS

The delivery of freight – merchandise or commodities that are moved by a mode of transportation either for a fee or by a private fleet – is expected to increase rapidly as a result of economic growth, increasing demand, growing international trade, changing business and retail models, and a significantly increased reliance on e-commerce by businesses and households. 

  • Freight transportation impacts every business and household. It is critical to the nation’s economy, which depends on efficient freight movement to connect businesses, manufacturers, customers and households with the U.S. and the world.
  • The nation’s 327 million residents, 126 million households, 7.7 million business establishments and 90,000 governmental units are all part of an economy that requires the efficient movement of freight.
  • The freight transportation system in the U.S. relies on an extensive system of highways, railroads, waterways, pipelines and waterways. This system includes 958,000 miles of Federal-aid highways, 141,000 miles of railroads, 11,000 miles of inland waterways, more than 19,000 airports, more than 5,000 coastal, Great Lakes and inland waterway facilities, and 1.6 million miles of pipelines.
  • The nation’s freight system moves a daily average of approximately 51 million tons freight valued at approximately $55 billion. The U.S. freight system annually moves approximately 17.7 billion tons of freight, valued at approximately $16.8 trillion.
  • Trucking accounted for the largest modal share of freight movement in 2016, carrying 72 percent of freight by value and 66 percent by weight.
  • The following chart details modal freight movement in 2016 by value and weight.

  • Modern society is likely to become even more reliant on trucking and other types of shipments as international trade continues to increase, domestic demand for freight movement increases, and commercial and retail models increasingly rely on timely and efficient freight deliveries.
  • From 2016 to 2045, freight moved annually in the U.S. is expected to increase by 104 percent in value (inflation-adjusted dollars) and 44 percent by weight.
  • From 2016 to 2045, freight moved annually in the U.S. by trucks is expected to increase by 91 percent in value (inflation-adjusted dollars) and 41 percent by weight. The following chart indicates the anticipated percentage increase in freight by value and weight from 2016 to 2045, by mode.
  • In 2016, the share of overall U.S. freight shipments to or from another country was 11 percent measured by weight and 21 percent measured by value. By 2045, the share of U.S. freight shipments to or from another country is projected to be 18 percent by weight and 39 percent by value.

IMPACT OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGY ON FREIGHT

Freight delivery is being transformed by a convergence of advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation, and by increases in e-commerce and the growing logistic networks being developed by Amazon and other large retailers.

  • The development of autonomous trucks is expected to proceed in stages from currently deployed driver assist tools such as cruise control and lane-assist to a level that will allow large trucks to mostly drive themselves with a driver monitoring the vehicle, to full autonomy in certain environments, such as major highways, and finally to full autonomy.
  • Improved automation of manufacturing and warehousing facilities is increasing the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing and increasing the need for timely freight movement to and from sites that are able to operate 24 hours per day.
  • Digitization is significantly improving the efficiency of the nation’s supply chain by allowing freight brokers, carriers, shippers and receivers to exchange real-time data to more efficiently use freight capacity.
  • From 2014 to 2018, U.S. e-commerce increased by 69 percent, from $298 billion to $505 billion, and is expected to increase another 39 percent by 2022, to $706 billion. Since 2016, Amazon has built 20 new distribution centers in the U.S. and continues to expand its logistics system domestically and globally, including the development of truck, aircraft and shipping fleets.
  • Advancements in vehicle autonomy and improvements in vehicle and supply chain automation are anticipated to result in reduced shipping costs.

STATE FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION

The health of a state’s economy and quality of life are impacted greatly by the quality and reliability of a state’s transportation system and its ability to provide efficient, safe freight movement.

  • The following chart ranks the 10 states with the greatest amount of freight shipped to or from sites in their state (including to or from foreign locations) by truck and by all modes, measured by value in millions of dollars. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the 10 states with the greatest amount of freight shipped to or from sites in their state by truck and by all modes, measured by weight in thousands of tons. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the 20 states that are expected to realize the greatest percentage increase in freight (by all modes and by truck only) shipped to and from sites within their state from 2016 to 2045, in inflation-adjusted dollars. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the 20 states that are expected to realize the greatest percentage increase in freight (by all modes and by truck only) shipped to and from sites within their state from 2016 to 2045, in weight. Data for all states is available in the Appendix.

IMPACT OF TRAFFIC CONGESTION ON FREIGHT DELIVERY

Rising levels of traffic congestion are increasing the cost of moving freight and reducing the economic competitiveness and efficiency of businesses that require reliable, affordable freight transportation.   

  • The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) estimates that traffic congestion on the nation’s major highways resulted in the addition of $74.5 billion in operational costs to the trucking industry in 2016, including 1.2 billion hours of lost productivity as a result of trucks being stuck in traffic.
  • Fifty-three percent of vehicle miles of travel by large trucks (10,000 lbs. or greater) in 2016 occurred on Interstate highways. Forty-six percent of urban Interstates are congested.
  • Twelve percent of travel on Interstate highways and 21 percent of travel on rural Interstate highways is by combination trucks.
  • The following chart ranks the 20 states in 2017 with the greatest share of vehicle miles of travel on all Interstate highways and on rural Interstate highways which is by combination trucks. Data for all states is available in the Appendix.

  • Using a freight congestion index developed by the Federal Highway Administration, in 2019 the ATRI compiled the following list of the nation’s worst freight highway bottlenecks based on the number of trucks using a particular highway facility and the impact of congestion on the average speed of those vehicles.

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation forecasts that between 2012 and 2045, the miles of major U.S. highways that are congested during peak periods will quadruple from 19,200 miles to 78,500.
  • The following map indicates major highways that carry more than 8,500 large trucks per day and/or on which more than 25 percent of daily traffic is comprised of large trucks.

  • The miles of major highway segments with more than 8,500 large trucks per day and where at least 25 percent of vehicles are large trucks is expected to increase by 140 percent between 2012 and 2045, from 5,560 miles to 13,480 miles.

LARGE TRUCK SAFETY

Traffic fatalities as a result of crashes involving large trucks (10,000 lbs. or greater) increased significantly over the last five years.  Approximately five-out-of-six people killed in crashes involving a large truck were occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash or pedestrians or bicyclists.  The most frequent event prior to fatal crashes between large trucks and another vehicle is the entering or encroaching into a large truck’s lane by the other vehicle.

  • Large trucks account for four percent of all registered vehicles and nine percent of all vehicle miles of travel annually. Twelve percent of traffic fatalities occur in crashes in which a large truck was involved.
  • Approximately three-quarters – 76 percent – of large trucks that were involved in fatal crashes in 2016 weighed more than 33,000 lbs.
  • From 2013 to 2017, fatal traffic crashes involving large trucks resulted in the deaths of 21,114 people. This included 3,582 drivers or passengers of large trucks and 17,532 drivers or occupants of other vehicles, or non-motorists, such as pedestrians or bicyclists.

  • From 2013 to 2017, the number of fatalities in large-truck involved crashes in the U.S. increased 20 percent, from 3,981 to 4,761.
  • Eighty percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks from 2013 to 2017 were multiple-vehicle crashes, compared to 61 percent for fatal crashes involving only passenger vehicles.
  • In 62 percent of fatal large truck crashes from 2013 to 2017, the most critical pre-crash event was either another vehicle’s encroachment into a large truck’s lane (38 percent) or another vehicle entering a large truck’s lane (26 percent).
  • A 2018 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that analyzed 2016 two-vehicle fatal crashes involving a large truck found the following: in 43 percent of the crashes both vehicles were proceeding straight, in nine percent of the crashes the other vehicle was turning left or right regardless of the large trucks maneuver, in 10 percent of the crashes the truck and the other vehicle were negotiating curves, and in seven percent of the crashes either the truck or the other vehicle was stopped in a traffic lane (five percent and two percent, respectively).
  • In large truck-involved fatal crashes in 2016, two percent of large truck drivers had blood alcohol concentrations above .08 f/dL, while the share for drivers of passenger vehicles, light trucks and motorcycles with blood alcohol concentrations above .08 f/dL was 21, 20 and 25 percent, respectively.
  • Fatal large truck crashes are more likely to occur on rural roads, two-lane roads and roads with speed limits 55 miles per hour or higher.
  • The following chart ranks the top 10 states with the largest annual average number of fatalities in large truck involved crashes from 2013 to 2017. It also includes the average number of large truck non-occupant fatalities, which includes non-motorists, and large truck occupant fatalities. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the top 20 states with the largest annual average number of fatalities in large truck involved crashes per one million population from 2013 to 2017. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

CHALLENGES IMPACTING THE FUTURE OF U.S. FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION

A lack of adequate parking for large trucks and a shortage of available truck drivers, particularly for long-haul trips challenge the safety and efficiency of the nation’s freight system.  

  • A significant lack of adequate truck parking along major U.S. highways reduces the efficiency and safety of freight movement. Tired truck drivers may continue to drive because they have difficulty finding a place to park, or they may choose to park at unsafe locations such as a highway shoulder, exit ramps or vacant lots.
  • A 2014 survey evaluating the adequacy of truck parking capacity in the U.S. found that 38 states reported having truck parking problems, particularly along major freight corridors and in large metropolitan areas. Truck drivers surveyed said truck parking problems exist in all states and 75 percent of truck drivers surveyed reported having difficulty finding safe and legal parking during mandated rest periods.
  • The American Trucking Associations estimates there is a current shortage of 63,000 truck drivers in the U.S. and the shortage is expected to increase to 174,000 by 2026.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING U.S. FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION

Achieving a 21st century freight transportation system capable of efficiently and safely meeting the nation’s freight transportation needs will require implementation of a freight transportation plan that addresses the following infrastructure, institutional and financial bottlenecks.

Infrastructure Bottlenecks

  • Increase the capacity of the nation’s freight transportation system, particularly at major bottlenecks, including portions of Interstate Highways and major trade gateways and corridors, rail facilities and ports, and including the addition of general purpose highway lanes as well as the construction of truck-only lanes when viable, such as the planned addition of 40 miles of truck-only lanes on a portion of I-75 in Georgia.
  • Construct additional intermodal connectors and improve the reliability and condition of intermodal connectors between major highways and rail, ports and waterways. The number of intermodal connectors in the U.S. increased 30 percent from 2000 to 2014 from 616 to 798.
  • Approximately two-thirds (68 percent) of intermodal connectors are congested and 56 percent of intermodal connectors have pavements in poor condition.
  • Continue to develop vehicle autonomy and further automate warehousing.
  • Improve roadway safety, particularly along highways and at major intersections, and provide additional truck parking spaces to insure adequate and timely rest for drivers.

Institutional Bottlenecks

  • Further streamline the planning, review and permitting of transportation projects.
  • Facilitate greater multijurisdictional collaboration on multimodal freight transportation solutions.

Funding bottlenecks:

  • Provide funding for freight transportation improvements that is substantial, continuing, multimodal, reliable, and, in most cases, specifically dedicated to freight transportation projects.
  • Provide a permanent, adequate and reliable funding fix to the federal Highway Trust Fund as a critical step towards funding a 21st Century freight transportation system.

All data used in this report is the most current available.  Sources of information for this report include:  The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), The American Trucking Associations (ATA), The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the U.S. Census Bureau. 

 

TRIP Reports: ILLINOIS MOTORISTS LOSE $18.3 BILLION PER YEAR ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES – AS MUCH AS $2,559 PER DRIVER.

ILLINOIS MOTORISTS LOSE $18.3 BILLION PER YEAR ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES – AS MUCH AS $2,559 PER DRIVER. LACK OF FUNDING WILL LEAD TO FURTHER DETERIORATION, INCREASED CONGESTION AND HIGHER COSTS TO MOTORISTS

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Illinois motorists a total of $18.3 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,559 per driver in some urban areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge, and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Illinois, according to a new report released by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit.

The TRIP report, Illinois Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,”finds that throughout Illinois, more than two-fifths of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and eight percent of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient. The report also finds that Illinois’ major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce.

Driving on roads in Illinois costs motorists a total of $18.3 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Chicago, Champaign-Urbana, Metro East, Peoria-Bloomington, Rockford and Springfield urban areas.  A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area, along with a statewide total, is below.

The TRIP report finds that 19 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in Illinois are in poor condition and an additional 23 percent are in mediocre condition, costing the state’s drivers an additional $5 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

“This report highlights how expensive it can be for Illinois drivers when the state does not maintain its basic infrastructure,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch. “A stronger transportation system is vital to stronger business and a stronger Illinois. We must act now to improve our economy and quality of life in Illinois through infrastructure investment.”

Eight percent of Illinois’ bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. The condition of state-maintained bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.  Forty-one percent of Illinois’ locally and state-maintained bridges have been rated in fair condition.  A fair rating indicates that a bridge’s structural elements are sound but minor deterioration has occurred to the bridge’s deck, substructure or superstructure.

“Poorly maintained roads are both a financial burden and safety hazard for Illinois motorists,” said Nick Jarmusz, midwest director of public affairs for AAA – The Auto Club Group.  “The investments necessary to rebuild our infrastructure would cost a fraction of what drivers are currently paying in the form of additional vehicle expenses, to say nothing of the increased risk of crashes and injuries.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation projects that, under current funding levels, the percentage of state-maintained roads and bridges in need of repairs will increase significantly in the next five years.

Traffic congestion throughout Illinois is worsening, causing up to 63 annual hours of delay for the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas and costing the state’s drivers a total of $8.5 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

Traffic crashes in Illinois claimed the lives of nearly 5,100 people between 2013 and 2017. Illinois’ overall traffic fatality rate of 1.02 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2017 is lower than the national average of 1.16.  The fatality rate on Illinois’ non-interstate rural roads is approximately two-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.82). The financial impact of traffic crashes costs Illinois drivers a total of $4.8 billion annually.

The efficiency and condition of Illinois’ transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Annually, $2.9 trillion in goods are shipped to and from Illinois, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to relocate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system. The design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Illinois support 154,001 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy.

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the federal, state and local levels of government,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate funding, Illinois’ transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth, safety, and quality of life.”

 

ILLINOIS KEY TRANSPORTATION FACTS

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

Driving on Illinois roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some desirable safety features costs Illinois drivers a total of $18.3 billion each year. TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.

 

ILLINOIS ROADS PROVIDE A ROUGH RIDE

Due to inadequate state and local funding, forty-two percent of Illinois’ major roads and highways are in poor or mediocre condition.   The condition of state-maintained roads and bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.

 

ILLINOIS BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Eight percent of Illinois’ bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components.  The condition of state-maintained bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.  Forty-one percent of Illinois’ locally and state-maintained bridges have been rated in fair condition.

 

ILLINOIS ROADS ARE INCREASINGLY CONGESTED

Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost Illinois drivers $8.5 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. Drivers in the state’s largest urban areas lose up to $1,500 and spend as much as two-and-a-half days each year in congestion.

ILLINOIS TRAFFIC SAFETY AND FATALITIES

Nearly 5,100 people were killed in traffic crashes in Illinois from 2013 to 2017. Traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $4.8 billion in economic costs in 2017.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The health and future growth of Illinois’ economy is riding on its transportation system. Each year, $2.9 trillion in goods are shipped to and from Illinois, mostly by truck. By 2045, total freight tonnage being shipped in and out of Illinois is projected to grow by 40 percent, with 70 percent of the added tonnage moved by truck.

A report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that the design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Illinois supports 154,001 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $6.5 billion annually. Approximately 2.6 million full-time jobs in Illinois in key industries like tourism, manufacturing, retail sales, agriculture are completely dependent on the state’s transportation infrastructure network.

For the full report visit  TRIP

Engineering and Construction Costs Increase at Slower Pace in April, IHS Markit Says

Construction costs continued to increase in April for the 30th consecutive month, according to IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) and the Procurement Executives Group (PEG). The current headline IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index registered 58.2 this month, a slight decline from March’s reading of 60.4. The materials and equipment price index fell to 59.2 in April with labor indexes also taking a step back in April but both remain firmly in positive territory, indicating continued price increases. Survey respondents reported falling prices for carbon steel pipe; all other categories ranging from turbines to transportation registered price increases. The index for fabricated structural steel climbed into positive territory, indicating more reports of price increases than decreases, for the first time since November. “Fabricated structural steel prices picked up late in the first quarter due to higher raw materials costs and a seasonal pick-up in demand,” said Amanda Eglinton, principal economist, pricing and purchasing, IHS Markit. “Steel input costs will decline over the near-term, however rising labor costs and supportive demand will limit declines in prices until later in the year.”

The sub-index for current subcontractor labor costs came in at 56.0, down from 59.7 in March. Labor costs rose in all regions of the United States and stayed nearly flat in both Western and Eastern Canada.

The six-month headline expectations for construction costs index reflected increasing prices for the 32nd consecutive month. The six-month materials and equipment expectations index registered 70.6 in April after sliding to 66.1 last month. Expectations for sub-contractor labor rose to 74.6 in April, up from 68.1 in March, with labor costs expected to rise in all regions of the U.S. and Canada.

In the survey comments, respondents indicated a tight labor market for all skilled trade workers.

o learn more about the IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index or to obtain the latest published insight, please click here.

About IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com)

IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics, and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance, and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.

Rebootonline.com Reports Construction had seen a -6.6% decrease in hiring since 2018

  • Gross hiring across all US industries has shown a -2.9% decrease compared to the beginning of 2018.
  • Interestingly, the industry with the largest increase in hiring was ‘Public Safety’at+6.4%.
  • Other prominent public service sectors, including ‘Education and ‘Health Care’ has seen a decrease in hiring with -5.9% and -3.2% retrospectively.
  • The industry that has had the largest decrease in hiring year-on-year was ‘Arts’ with -13.7%.
  • The‘Construction’ industry has had a decreaseof-6.6% in hiring year-on-year.


According to the most recent report by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, businesses posted nearly 7.6 million jobs at the beginning of 2019, indicating a shift within the labor market. Despite this, there are currently around 1 million more open jobs than there are unemployed workers.

Interestingly, however, the unemployment rate remains unchanged at 3.8 percent as of March 2019, with the number of unemployed people in the US equating to around 6.2 million.

To explore the subject further, digital marketing agency Reboot Digital Marketing analyzed the latest findings found within the report ‘The Workforce Report March 2019’by LinkedIn* to further understand the industries with the largest hiring shifts over the last year.

According to the report, over 155 million US workers have LinkedIn profiles, with over 3 million new jobs posted on the site every month. However, despite this, gross hiring across all US industries was down -2.9% compared to February 2018.


Despite the evolution of technology, it seems the demand for more traditional/public service positions will not be disappearing anytime soon. Remarkably, a surprising industry that has seen the highest increase in hiring is ‘Public Safety’ at +6.4% year-on-year.

Despite the substantial positive increase for this sector, both ‘Education and ‘Health Care’ has seen a decrease in hiring with -5.9% and -3.2% retrospectively.

Ranking just after ‘Public Safety’, Reboot Digital Marketing can also reveal the next five industries that had the highest notable increase in hiring between February 2018- 2019 were:

Software and I.T Services(+4.6%), Corporate Services(+4%), Public Administration(+2.1%), and bothWellness & Fitness, and Transportation & Logistics with +0.5%.

At the other end of the scale, Reboot Digital Marketing found that the following ten industrieshad thelargestmost notable decreasesin hiring from 2018-2019:

Arts
(-13.7%),Agriculture (-11.1%),Consumer Goods (-8.4%),Retail (-8.1%),Hardware & Networking (-7.7%),Entertainment (-7.7%),Construction and Manufacturing (-6.6%) andfinally Design as well as Real Estate with -6%.

Shai Aharony, Managing Director of Rebootonline.com commented:

“Our digital agency has grown over the last two years and recruiting skilled people is essential to our expansion. We have large numbers of candidates applying for roles; however, they often do not possess the correct skills or relevant work experience in the IT and marketing field. If you are looking for employment in a particular industry, make sure your CV reflects your talent in this area. Take a course or gain additional qualifications relevant to the job role which makes you enticing to prospective employers. Internships and work experience are also valuable tools to gain knowledge and bridge the skills gap.”

*Methodology: “Hiring rate” is the count of hires divided by the total number of LinkedIn members in the US. The count of hires is those that have added a new employer to their profile in the same month the new job began. The figures represent the year on year percentage change between February 2018 to February 2019.

Information and graphic, courtesy of  Rebootonline.com

https://www.rebootonline.com/