From the Kiplinger Letter, November 2017 edition:
Making life even more difficult for employers is that good workers are quitting at levels not seen since the recession. Why? Because they’re more confident about finding a well-paying job elsewhere right away or whenever they choose to quit. Job opening rates are trending at high levels across most industries, especially in the warehousing and transportation sectors. The tight labor market isn’t about to loosen up anytime soon. Modest pay raises averaging next year at 2.7% are partly due to automation, where factory and office jobs that used to pay decently are now done by software and robots. This trend will accelerate in the years ahead as Artificial Intelligence becomes even more advanced.
Small business owners collectively are showing signs of mounting optimism, expecting stronger sales growth in the coming months, and fueling the strongest capital spending plans since before the Great Recession. This will be particularly strong in professional services, farm enterprises, wholesale trades, manufacturing, and construction. Growth plans, however, are facing headwinds caused by the lack of qualified workers, as well as current high corporate taxes. Business inventory levels will bounce upward in coming months, reflecting growing confidence in economic growth and higher orders and sales.
Finally, U.S. GDP growth is expected to increase from this year’s 3.4% to 3.6% in 2018.