Stats vs Sentiment
We got a strong jobs report on Friday: 216,000 jobs added to the U.S. economy, far more than expected. This is unequivocally good news for American workers. But as so often, the story isn’t quite as simple.
The encouraging data contradict a palpable sense of economic uncertainty among many workers. The job market may be strong on paper, but cracks appear when you look closer, particularly in the care sector, which is key for a functional labor market and economy.
Care Sector Conundrum
A large portion of the growth in the jobs report was driven by gains in healthcare. But while employment is growing, the sector is also plagued by high service costs and low worker compensation.
Demand for care services is rising, and will continue to rise as the population ages and people live longer. For now, this demand remains unmet. Making matters worse, compensation for care workers remains relatively low, as shown by the median pay for these occupations in 2022:
• Childcare workers: $13.71 per hour
• Nursing assistants: $17.18 per hour
• Home health and personal care aides: $14.51 per hour
• Social workers: $26.61 per hour
This imbalance between job growth and pay highlights the broader disconnect between the seemingly healthy labor market and economic treatment of essential workers.
Rethinking Economic Health
The state of the care sector is a microcosm of the broader economic challenges that a “robust” labor market can still foster a less-than-ideal economy for some of its workers. That’s why we need context for economic data.
For example, the number of workers holding multiple jobs also hit an all-time high, suggesting it increasingly takes more work to make ends meet in the post-pandemic economy that has been marked by years of high inflation.
Looking for more stories like this? Check out On the Money — SoFi’s one-stop-shop for news, trends, and tips!
Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.