3 Insights From the Latest U.S. Economic Data
Each month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York publishes monthly economic snapshots.
To make this report accessible to a wider audience, we’ve identified the three most important takeaways from the report and compiled them into one infographic.
1. Growth figures in Q2 will make or break a recession
Generally speaking, a recession begins when an economy exhibits two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. Because U.S. GDP shrank by -1.5% in Q1 2022 (January to March), a lot rests on the Q2 figure (April to June) which should be released on July 28th.
Referencing strong business activity and continued growth in consumer spending, economists predict that U.S. GDP will grow by +2.1% in Q2. This would mark a decisive reversal from Q1, and put an end to recessionary fears for the time being.
Unfortunately, inflation is the top financial concern for Americans, and this is dampening consumer confidence. Shown below, the consumer confidence index reflects the public’s short-term outlook for income, business, and labor conditions.
Falling consumer confidence suggests that more people will delay big purchases such as cars, major appliances, and vacations.
2. The COVID-era housing boom could be over
Housing markets have been riding high since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this run is likely coming to an end. Here’s a summary of what’s happened since 2020:
- Lockdowns in early 2020 created lots of pent-up demand for homes
- Greater household savings and record-low mortgage rates pushed demand even further
- Supply chain disruptions greatly increased the cost of materials like lumber
- Construction of new homes couldn’t keep up, and housing supply fell to historic lows
Today, home prices are at record highs and the cost of borrowing is rapidly rising. For evidence, look no further than the 30-year fixed mortgage rate, which has doubled to more than 6% since the beginning of 2022.
Given these developments, the drop in the number of home sales could be a sign that many Americans are being priced out of the market.
3. Don’t expect groceries to become any cheaper
Inflation has been a hot topic this year, especially with gas prices reaching $5 a gallon. But there’s one category of goods that’s perhaps even more alarming: food.
The following table includes food inflation over the past three years, as the percent change over the past 12 months.
|Date||CPI Food Component (%)|
From this data, we can see that food inflation really picked up speed in April 2020, jumping to +3.5% from +1.9% in the previous month. This was due to supply chain disruptions and a sudden rebound in global demand.
Fast forward to today, and food inflation is running rampant at 10.1%. A contributing factor is the impending fertilizer shortage, which stems from the Ukraine war. As it turns out, Russia is not only a massive exporter of oil, but wheat and fertilizer as well.
Visualizing the Most Sought-After Entry Level Jobs in 2023
Some jobs need a degree, while others don’t. Here are the top 20 most sought-after entry level jobs with and without a degree.
The Most Sought-After Entry Level Jobs of 2023
In the fast-paced realm of job hunting, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. And if you are an entry-level job applicant, the pressure is a notch higher.
New entrants in any job market today compete with groundbreaking technology like ChatGPT in addition to their peers. In the United States, these applicants have to also wade through an uncertain labor market, inflation, and long lists of job requirements.
Indeed.com has identified the most sought-after entry level positions for applicants both with and without a degree in the U.S., and the year-on-year growth of these job postings.
Most Sought-After Entry-Level Jobs With a Degree
As the U.S. job market recovers from its pandemic slump, some careers are now booming. This in turn has opened up numerous opportunities for entry-level job applicants.
|Rank||Job Title||Average Annual Salary||Change in Postings
|1||Outside Sales Representative||$60,000||+258%|
|8||Network Operations Technician||$85,500||+94%|
|9||Mental Health Manager||$42,000||+93%|
|12||Patient Access Manager||$90,000||+77%|
|14||Lead Generation Specialist||$62,500||+73%|
|16||Pharmaceutical Sales Representative||$74,378||+71%|
|18||Special Events Coordinator||$54,000||+67%|
The demand for sales jobs multiplied this year as customer-facing businesses slowly returned to their pre-pandemic levels.
At the top of this list is the job for an Outside Sales Representative. Paying upwards of $60,000, postings for this job have grown by over 250% in a year, making it the most sought-after position for applicants with a degree.
The healthcare industry has secured its place in the top ranks too. Careers including mental health case managers, speech pathologists, behavioral therapists, and patient access managers dominate the Top 20 list.
Let’s not forget about the tech sector. While entry-level network technicians can earn upwards of $85,000 on average, while IT engineers are paid an entry package of over $90,000.
Most Sought-After Entry-Level Jobs Without a Degree
Nearly 65% of the U.S. working population does not have a four-year degree. However, millions of these workers continue to be highly skilled across professions and have a shot at some of the most sought-after entry level jobs in the country.
|Rank||Job Title||Average Annual Salary||Change in Postings
|2||Auto Body Technician||$82,500||+100%|
|3||Environmental Health and Safety Specialist||$65,000||+100%|
|7||Sheet Metal Mechanic||$62,140||+67%|
|8||Aircraft Maintenance Technician||$57,500||+64%|
|11||Route Sales Representative||$50,000||+51%|
|13||Distribution Center Coordinator||$52,500||+47%|
|14||General Maintenance Technician||$40,650||+46%|
|15||Patient Care Coordinator||$43,152||+44%|
|18||Field Sales Representative||$57,018||+42%|
One example of this job is that of an Inventory Manager. The demand for skilled inventory managers in warehouses and companies post-pandemic has doubled the position’s job share in a year.
One of the highest paying non-degree jobs in this list—Auto Body Technician—can fetch highly-skilled entry-level workers a salary of $82,000 per year.
These jobs don’t seem to require a degree according to Indeed. However, the rising competition for these positions might give the upper edge to applicants with one, especially for jobs on the list such as Business Analyst and Relationship Banker.
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