By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes
As is typically the case when there’s a major political shift in the U.S., I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who are concerned about how the new administration may affect their job prospects. Millennials especially, who have had to build their careers during an incredibly rocky economic period in the U.S., are worried about their job security and career growth. As someone who used to work for the Department of Defense, I’m no stranger to the ups and downs that come with changes in political leadership.
The job market the past few years has been full of ups and downs, so it’s natural that employees are wary of what’s to come with the new president in office, especially one so unconventional. Donald Trump pledged to take aggressive action once in office, and so far he has followed through, issuing several executive orders and holding a series of meetings in just the first few days of his presidency. Much of this activity—and a huge portion of his campaign for presidency — relates to jobs!
Accordingly, here are five things you should know about Trump’s presidency and how the actions he takes as president could affect your job prospects.
- The unemployment rate will likely continue to drop.Trump has spoken at length about bringing jobs back, which certainly would be a boost to the economy, but the unemployment rate has been on a steady decline for years. It has lingered around 5%for quite some time and is currently the lowest it’s been in a decadewith no signs of going in the opposite direction.
- If you’re looking for a job with the federal government, keep your options open in other sectors, too. One of the first actions President Trump took after taking office was to freeze hiringfor the entire federal government, except for the military. It’s unclear how long the freeze will last, but Trump has vowed to keep the freeze in effect until the Office of Management and Budget issues a long-term plan to reduce the size of the Federal Government workforce. So it could be awhile.
- Employees in the auto industry should pay close attention to how things play out. Trump has been vocal about wanting U.S. automakers to bring more jobs back to the U.S. He met with auto industry executives in his first week of presidency to discuss his concerns. Regardless of Trump’s actions, though, don’t be surprised to see a lot of job growth in the auto industry: even before Trump’s presidency, automakers have been routinely adding jobs for years, and the industry was actually the source of the largest number of jobs created during Obama’s administration.
- We shouldn’t be too worried about job growth in general across all industries. There’s been a positive trend in job growth for years leading up to Trump’s presidency: his first month in office marks the 75th straight month of job growth. That trend will only continue, especially since one of Trump’s main focuses as president is to continue to add jobs. We’ll likely keep seeing growth in all industries across the board.
- Overall, the job market is slated to be solid in 2017. Trump is certainly unpredictable, but economists are overwhelmingly predicting a positive landscape for job seekers over at least the next year.
…So there’s no need to panic.
This country has weathered total political shifts every few years for centuries, and while it might seem different or scary when any new president comes into office, this really is just par for the course. Not only that, but the economy has been on a gradual upswing following the 2009 recession, and it seems that will continue into Trump’s presidency. The foundation of the job market is solid and I don’t expect that to chip away anytime soon.