November 2018 Jobs Report and Industry Update
“THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — October 2018”
“Generation Z stressed about issues in the news but least likely to vote”
“Scalable platform for on-chip quantum emitters”
“Twenty years on, measuring the impact of human stem cells”
“It pays to be nice to your employees”
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Economics & Job Creation:
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — OCTOBER 2018
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 250,000 in October, and the unemployment rate
was unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job
gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in October, and the number of unemployed
persons was little changed at 6.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and
the number of unemployed persons declined by 0.4 percentage point and 449,000,
respectively. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent),
adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (11.9 percent), Whites (3.3 percent), Blacks
(6.2 percent), Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent) showed little or no
change in October. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially
unchanged at 1.4 million in October and accounted for 22.5 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)
The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent in
October but has shown little change over the year. The employment-population ratio
edged up by 0.2 percentage point to 60.6 percent in October and has increased by 0.4
percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as
involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 4.6 million in October.
These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part
time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
(See table A-8.)
In October, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little
changed from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were
not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job
sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had
not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 506,000 discouraged workers in October, about
unchanged from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers
are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available
for them. The remaining 984,000 persons marginally attached to the labor force in
October had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family
responsibilities. (See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 250,000 in October, following an average
monthly gain of 211,000 over the prior 12 months. In October, job growth occurred in
health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing.
(See table B-1.)
Health care added 36,000 jobs in October. Within the industry, employment growth
occurred in hospitals (+13,000) and in nursing and residential care facilities
(+8,000). Employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up
(+14,000). Over the past 12 months, health care employment grew by 323,000.
In October, employment in manufacturing increased by 32,000. Most of the increase
occurred in durable goods manufacturing, with a gain in transportation equipment
(+10,000). Manufacturing has added 296,000 jobs over the year, largely in durable
Construction employment rose by 30,000 in October, with nearly half of the gain
occurring among residential specialty trade contractors (+14,000). Over the year,
construction has added 330,000 jobs.
Transportation and warehousing added 25,000 jobs in October. Within the industry,
employment growth occurred in couriers and messengers (+8,000) and in warehousing
and storage (+8,000). Over the year, employment in transportation and warehousing
has increased by 184,000.
Employment in leisure and hospitality edged up in October (+42,000). Employment was
unchanged in September, likely reflecting the impact of Hurricane Florence. The
average gain for the 2 months combined (+21,000) was the same as the average monthly
gain in the industry for the 12-month period prior to September.
In October, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up
(+35,000). Over the year, the industry has added 516,000 jobs.
Employment in mining also continued to trend up over the month (+5,000). The industry
has added 65,000 jobs over the year, with most of the gain in support activities for
Employment in other major industries–including wholesale trade, retail trade,
information, financial activities, and government–showed little change over the
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1
hour to 34.5 hours in October. In manufacturing, the workweek edged down by 0.1 hour
to 40.8 hours, and overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for
production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at 33.7 hours,
was unchanged over the month. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 5 cents to $27.30. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by
83 cents, or 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.89 in October. (See tables B-3
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised down from
+134,000 to +118,000, and the change for August was revised up from +270,000 to
+286,000. The downward revision in September offset the upward revision in August.
(Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and
government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation
of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 218,000 over the
past 3 months.
“Generation Z stressed about issues in the news but least likely to vote”
Headline issues, from immigration to sexual assault, are causing significant stress among members of Generation Z — those between ages 15 and 21 — with mass shootings topping the list of stressful current events, according to the American Psychological Association’s report Stress in America™: Generation Z released today.
Despite these concerns, Gen Z adults who are 18 to 21 years old are the generation least likely to vote in the 2018 midterm elections, the report found.
Specifically, 75 percent of Gen Z members said that mass shootings are a significant source of stress, according to the survey, which was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of APA in July and August 2018 among 3,458 adults and 300 15- to17-year-olds.
Gen Z members are also more stressed than adults overall about other issues in the news, such as the separation and deportation of immigrant and migrant families (57 percent of Gen Z vs. 45 percent of all adults reported the issue is a significant source of stress) and sexual harassment and assault reports (53 percent vs. 39 percent). Despite this, just more than half of Gen Z adults, between ages 18 and 21, (54 percent) said they intend to vote in the U.S. midterm elections, compared with 70 percent of adults overall.
America’s youngest generation is also significantly more likely (27 percent) than other generations, including Millennials (15 percent) and Gen Xers (13 percent), to report their mental health as fair or poor, the survey found. They are also more likely (37 percent), along with Millennials (35 percent), to report they have received treatment or therapy from a mental health professional, compared with 26 percent of Gen Xers, 22 percent of baby boomers and 15 percent of older adults.
“Current events are clearly stressful for everyone in the country, but young people are really feeling the impact of issues in the news, particularly those issues that may feel beyond their control,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, APA’s chief executive officer. “At the same time, the high percentage of Gen Z reporting fair or poor mental health could be an indicator that they are more aware of and accepting of mental health issues. Their openness to mental health topics represents an opportunity to start discussions about managing their stress, no matter the cause.”
More than nine in 10 Gen Z adults (91 percent) said they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom because of stress, such as feeling depressed or sad (58 percent) or lacking interest, motivation or energy (55 percent). Only half of all Gen Zs feel like they do enough to manage their stress.
Money and work continued to top the list of significant stressors tracked annually by the Stress in America survey for adults overall. Nearly two-thirds of adults (64 percent) reported money and work each to be a stressor. A new question added this year asking about additional sources of stress revealed that for more than three in 10 Gen Zs, personal debt (33 percent) and housing instability (31 percent) were a significant source of stress, while nearly three in 10 (28 percent) cited hunger or getting enough to eat.
One notable finding was a potential increased tolerance for stress across all generations. The average perceived healthy level of stress increased significantly over the past year, from 3.7 in 2017 to 3.9 in 2018 (on a scale from 1 to 10, where “1” is “little or no stress” and “10” is “a great deal of stress”).
Americans Increasingly Stressed about the Future of the Nation
More than six in 10 Americans (62 percent) reported that the current political climate is a significant stressor, and more than two-thirds (69 percent) reported that the nation’s future causes them stress. This was a significant increase from those who said the same in 2017 (63 percent). Most Americans (61 percent) also disagreed that the country is on a path to being stronger than ever. Because of their concern for the state of the nation, nearly half of Americans (45 percent) said they feel more compelled to volunteer or support causes they value.
Another key finding was that nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of adults identified discrimination as a significant source of stress, the highest percentage since this was first included in the survey in 2015. In 2018, black adults (46 percent) and Hispanic adults (36 percent) reported discrimination as a significant source of stress, compared with 14 percent of white adults.
To read the full Stress in America report or to download graphics, visit http://www.stressinamerica.org.
For additional information on stress, lifestyle and behavior changes, visit http://www.apa.org/helpcenter.
“Scalable platform for on-chip quantum emitters”
Household lightbulbs give off a chaotic torrent of energy, as trillions of miniscule light particles — called photons — reflect and scatter in all directions. Quantum light sources, on the other hand, are like light guns that fire single photons one by one, each time they are triggered, enabling them to carry hack-proof digital information — technology attractive to industries such as finance and defense.
Now, researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology and Columbia University have developed a scalable method for creating large numbers of these quantum light sources on a chip with unprecedented precision that not only could pave the way for the development of unbreakable cryptographic systems but also quantum computers that can perform complex calculations in seconds that would take normal computers years to finish.
“The search for scalable quantum light sources has been going on for 20 years, and more recently has become a national priority,” says Stefan Strauf, who led the work and is also director of Stevens’ Nanophotonic Lab. “This is the first time anyone has achieved a level of spatial control combined with high efficiency on a chip that is scalable, all of which are needed to realize quantum technologies.”
The work, to be reported in the Oct. 29 advance online issue of Nature Nanotechnology, describes a new method for creating quantum light sources on demand in any desired location on a chip, by stretching an atom-thin film of semiconducting material over nanocubes made of gold. Like taut cling-wrap, the film stretches over the corners of the nanocubes, imprinting defined locations where single-photon emitters form.
Past research has tested methods for producing quantum emitters in defined locations, but these designs were not scalable or efficient at triggering single photons frequently enough to be practically useful. Strauf and his team changed all that by becoming the first to combine spatial control and scalability with the ability to efficiently emit photons on demand.
To achieve these capabilities, Strauf’s team designed a unique approach where the gold nanocube serves a dual purpose: it imprints the quantum emitter on the chip and it acts as an antenna around it. By creating the quantum emitters in between the gold nanocube and mirror, Strauf left a five-nanometer narrow gap — 20,000 times smaller than the width of a sheet of paper.
“This tiny space between the mirror and nanocube creates an optical antenna that funnels all the photons into that five-nanometer gap, thereby concentrating all the energy” says Strauf. “Essentially, it provides the necessary boost for the single photons to be emitted rapidly from the defined location and in the desired direction.”
To further improve the efficiency of the quantum light sources, Strauf teamed up with Katayun Barmak and James Hone, of Columbia University, who developed a technique for growing semiconductor crystals that are nearly free of defects. Using these unique crystals, Stevens’ graduate student Yue Luo built rows of quantum emitters on a chip by stretching the atom-thin material over the nanocubes. The nanoantennas are formed by attaching the mirror, on the bottom side of the nanocube.
The result: a record-high firing of 42 million single photons per second; in other words, every second trigger created a photon on demand, compared to only one in 100 triggers previously.
Though tiny, the emitters are remarkably tough. “They’re astonishingly stable,” Strauf says. “We can cool them and warm them and disassemble the resonator and reassemble it, and they still work.” Most quantum emitters must be kept chilled to -273°C but the new technology works up to -70°C. “We’re not yet at room temperature,” says Strauf, “but current experiments show that it’s feasible to get there.”
“Twenty years on, measuring the impact of human stem cells”
In November 1998, the world was introduced to human embryonic stem cells, the blank slate cells that arise at the earliest stages of development and that go on to become any of the scores of cell types that make up a human.
In a succinct paper published in the journal Science and heralded around the world, University of Wisconsin-Madison developmental biologist James Thomson described the first successful derivation and culturing of the master cells of life. With a capacity to replicate endlessly under the right laboratory conditions, the prospect of an inexhaustible supply of replacement cells for ailments such as Parkinson’s, diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injury and a host of other dire conditions catapulted the cells into the biomedical spotlight and the public imagination.
“When human embryonic stem cells were discovered 20 years ago, researchers and the public were quick to realize the tantalizing promise that these cells provided for therapeutic applications,” notes Tim Kamp, a professor of medicine in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and the director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center. “There was now a potential pathway to generate essentially any human cell type in the body in the laboratory and then use it to replace damaged or destroyed cells by disease such as beta cells in the pancreas in diabetes, dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson’s disease, and heart muscle cells after a heart attack.”
Beginning with just five cell lines derived from surplus embryos donated by patients who had finished undergoing fertility treatments, human stem cell science has mushroomed from just a few isolated labs to a burgeoning global industry and launched the new field of regenerative medicine.
Today, proven therapies based on trading out diseased cells for healthy lab grown cells remains a clinical aspiration. But a growing number of clinical trials, the widespread use of the cells in industry, and a swelling list of basic findings attributable to the Swiss Army knife of cells is contributing to a measured, steady realization of the promise that came with the first lab-grown cells two decades ago.
“What is surprising is how far we’ve come and how fast we’ve gotten there,” says Tenneille Ludwig, director of the Stem Cell Bank at WiCell, a non-profit affiliate of UW-Madison that studies, distributes and characterizes stem cells for research. Ludwig is the senior author of a paper published today (Nov. 1, 2018) in the journal Cell Stem Cell describing the global scope and economic impact of stem cell science, including the clinical, industrial and research use of the cells.
Not surprisingly, the potential of clinical applications for stem cells has garnered the most attention over time, and while unproven treatments to treat everything from arthritis to Alzheimer’s have surfaced in clinics in the United States and abroad, there has yet to be an effective stem cell treatment that has successfully navigated the gamut of clinical trials required for FDA approval.
“If you’re looking for a proven embryonic or induced stem cell therapy, there isn’t one quite yet,” Ludwig explains, noting the timeline from the lab to the clinic is seldom speedy or direct. “We know it takes a long time to go from a basic scientific discovery to the clinic.”
Ludwig, who worked as a post-doctoral fellow in Thomson’s lab developing and refining the culture media required to grow and nurture the cells in the lab dish, says her survey of the field reveals 29 clinical trials in 10 countries. Twenty-seven of those trials involve cells derived from human embryonic stem cell lines, including some of the original stem cell lines derived in 1998. “We expect the number of clinical trials to balloon over the next five to ten years.”
Less publicized is the use of stem cells to develop high-throughput drug screens. Nearly every major pharmaceutical company now has a stem cell program where the cells are used to assess promising new drug candidates for safety and efficacy.
Also flying under the public’s radar is the growing scientific contribution of stem cells, both embryonic and induced pluripotent cells. (Induced pluripotent cells are adult cells such as skin that have been genetically reprogrammed to mimic the qualities of embryonic stem cells.) Although the science for embryonic stem cells was slowed by early controversies and limited funding during the Bush administration, the field has taken off as public funding has become more readily available and now nearly 400 embryonic stem cell lines are eligible for public funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Stem Cell Registry.
Drawing on data from NIH, Ludwig and her study co-authors, estimate as much as $1.43 billion has been spent by the agency on research on embryonic and induced stem cells over the past 20 years.
As a result of greater access to stem cell lines and more robust public funding, the science of stem cells has advanced significantly. Scientists, for example, are able to direct the blank slate cells to become many of the cells found in the body. From beating heart cells and insulin-producing beta cells to motor and dopaminergic neurons, scientists are making large quantities of pure cells for research, in many cases creating cells that could not otherwise be accessed for science.
“In the first several years, there were only about 80 papers in the whole field,” notes Ludwig. “Now, twenty years in, there are tens of thousands. It is pretty remarkable.”
Says Kamp: “Now, after 20 years of ongoing research and development, we are seeing clinical trials emerging that are testing cellular products derived from embryonic stem cells for a variety of diseases including diabetes, ischemic heart disease, age-related macular degeneration, and more. Most of these trials are just the beginning safety studies, but the remarkable new regenerative medicine applications of human embryonic stem cells and their more recent cousins induced pluripotent stem cells are beginning to realize the promise for revolutionary new therapies first identified 20 years ago.”
“It pays to be nice to your employees”
Want the best results out of your employees? Then be nice to them.
New research from Binghamton University, State University at New York finds that showing compassion to subordinates almost always pays off, especially when combined with the enforcement of clear goals and benchmarks.
“Being benevolent is important because it can change the perception your followers have of you,” said Chou-Yu Tsai, an assistant professor of management at Binghamton University’s School of Management. “If you feel that your leader or boss actually cares about you, you may feel more serious about the work you do for them.”
Tsai and his fellow researchers wanted to determine how both the presence and lack of benevolence affects the job performance of followers.
Tsai partnered with Binghamton University colleagues Shelley Dionne, professor and associate dean of the School of Management, and Francis Yammarino, distinguished professor, as well as An-Chih Wang of China Europe International Business School, Seth Spain of Concordia University, Hsiao-Chi Ling of Kainan University, Min-Ping Huang of Yuan Ze University, Li-Fang Chou of National Cheng Kung University and Bor-Shiuan Cheng of National Taiwan University for the research.
They surveyed nearly 1,000 members of the Taiwanese military and almost 200 adults working full-time in the United States, and looked at the subordinate performance that resulted from three different leadership styles:
Authoritarianism-dominant leadership: Leaders who assert absolute authority and control, focused mostly on completing tasks at all costs with little consideration of the well-being of subordinates
Benevolence-dominant leadership: Leaders whose primary concern is the personal or familial well-being of subordinates. These leaders want followers to feel supported and have strong social ties.
Classical paternalistic leadership: A leadership style that combines both authoritarianism and benevolence, with a strong focus on both task completion and the well-being of subordinates.
The researchers found that authoritarianism-dominant leadership almost always had negative results on job performance, while benevolence-dominant leadership almost always had a positive impact on job performance. In other words, showing no compassion to your employees doesn’t bode well for their job performance, while showing compassion motivated them to be better workers.
They also found that classical paternalistic leadership, which combines both benevolence and authoritarianism, had just as strong an effect on subordinate performance as benevolent-dominant leadership. Tsai said the reason for this phenomenon may extend all the way back to childhood.
“The parent and child relationship is the first leader-follower relationship that people experience. It can become a bit of a prototype of what we expect out of leadership going forward, and the paternalistic leadership style kind of resembles that of a parent,” Tsai said.
“The findings imply that showing personal and familial support for employees is a critical part of the leader-follower relationship. While the importance of establishing structure and setting expectations is important for leaders, and arguably parents, help and guidance from the leader in developing social ties and support networks for a follower can be a powerful factor in their job performance,” Dionne said.
Because of the difference in work cultures between U.S. employees and members of the Taiwanese military, researchers were surprised that the results were consistent across both groups.
“The consistency in the results across different cultures and different job types is fascinating. It suggests that the effectiveness of paternalistic leadership may be more broad-based than previously thought, and it may be all about how people respond to leaders and not about where they live or the type of work they do,” Yammarino said.
Tsai said his main takeaway for managers is to put just as much or even more of an emphasis on the well-being of your employees as you do on hitting targets and goals.
“Subordinates and employees are not tools or machines that you can just use. They are human beings and deserve to be treated with respect,” said Tsai. “Make sure you are focusing on their well-being and helping them find the support they need, while also being clear about what your expectations and priorities are. This is a work-based version of ‘tough love’ often seen in parent-child relationships.”