In 2017, the American economy has proven resilient as it has managed to stay on a recovery course despite political scandals and turmoil in the White House. During the early days of the year, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national unemployment rate had fallen to 4.6 percent; the last time American workers enjoyed such an abundance of available jobs was in 2007. A survey conducted in January 2017 indicated that employers planned to increase their payrolls by more than six percent this year, and the overall sentiment for business growth was very positive when compared to previous years.
In July 2017, The New York Times reported that job growth was still on track to keep growing, but the economic expansion is showing some uneven characteristics. Sales of new automobiles are falling at the same time shopping malls and major department stores are reducing their operations; moreover, the demand for new workers is greatly outpacing wage growth.
According to a July report by Quicken Loans, the pace of imported goods coming into the country increased to $52.8 billion, which reflects an increase of more than $1.1 billion; this jump in import activity is correlated to an increase in domestic investment by retailers and manufacturers that purchase tools, equipment, and raw materials. It is important to note, however, that investment levels are not uniform across the country.
There is a reality that job seekers and investors must face in today’s economy: the chances of landing a good job or capitalizing on an investment will largely depend on the region. Investors who want to see capital growth should focus on the metropolitan areas where job seekers are succeeding in terms of getting hired and being compensated accordingly.
The Canyon State: Where Job Seekers and Investors Meet
A January market research study by personal finance website Wallethub revealed that Arizona is the leading state in terms of job and investment growth. In a list ranking the best cities presenting job opportunities as well as a positive socio economic climate for investing, four Arizona cities were in among the top 20: Scottsdale, Chandler, Peoria, and Gilbert. In fact, Scottsdale was the top job market on the list.
Most Phoenix movers are probably very busy in 2017; this is a city that used to be one of the most promising local economies prior to the calamitous Wall Street crash of 2008. These days, workers, entrepreneurs, investors, and business owners are setting their sights on Scottsdale.
The Lone Star State: Technology and Quality of Life
Plano, Garland, Austin, and Dallas are also attractive cities for prospective employees and investors, particularly for those who are interested in the tech sector. Since 2015, Austin has been mentioned as the Silicon Valley of Texas due to its high number of tech startups and burgeoning quality of life. Major tech firms such as Google and Facebook have been opening offices in Austin in recent years, and venture capital investment firms have followed suit.
The Tar Heel State: Unexpected Tourism Expansion
In North Carolina’s Research Triangle of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, local business owners have been surprised by an unusual spike in tourism. This part of the country is known for being an active research and development hub, but its economic output came crashing down in 2008. Since then, the local tech sector has been slow to recover; however, the same cannot be said about tourism. According to statistics compiled by the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, tourists spent nearly $2.5 billion in 2016. What is interesting about this figure is that this region is not traditionally known as a tourism destination; nonetheless, many of the visitors are foreign students on short “semester abroad” programs managed through partnership between local and overseas universities. As a result. entrepreneurs are paying attention to this trend and setting up shop in North Carolina.
In the end, it is safe to say that investment and high employment levels will continue to grow together in 2017; the next economic development will hopefully be associated with wage growth.Comments »