National Economic News

HBS: New Frontiers for Apprenticeships

Harvard Business School recently published a report that examines the potential for apprenticeships in the U.S. economy. Researchers examined the skills demanded in job postings for more than 23 million openings in 2016 and identified the underlying skills in apprenticeship roles. The study found that there is significant opportunity to expand apprenticeships in the U.S. across many occupations. One significant barrier for technical schools, however, is the difficulty in building relationships with potential employers. The report recommends that employers and local educators can work together to define a curriculum and on-the-job training that is aligned with the employers’ needs.

LinkedIn 2017 Workforce Report
LinkedIn publishes a monthly report on employment trends in the U.S. workforce and recently released its annual review on 2017. Nationally, U.S. hiring was 10.4% higher in 2017 than in 2016, while skill gaps (shortages and abundances) have widened in several markets, including Salt Lake City, Raleigh, and Philadelphia. Seattle, Denver, and Austin consistently topped the list of cities gaining the most people. The report also includes data on hiring by industry.

Geographic Gaps are Widening
Researchers at Brookings note that size is important when it comes to the underlying economic dynamics in the country. For example, the largest metro areas generated two-thirds of output growth and 73 percent of employment gains. Smaller metropolitan areas, meanwhile, have made a negative contribution to the nation’s growth and their output and employment growth contributes have been declining to less than 3 percent and 5 percent of the national total, respectively.

Wells Fargo Economics Monthly Outlook
According to Wells Fargo’s monthly economics update, 2017 ended on a solid note in the U.S., with holiday retail sales topping consensus expectations. The recently enacted tax reform may create upside risks in the near term, but lower tax rates is expected to produce a boost to take-home pay. Globally, the economy is expected to continue its expansion in 2018.