Unemployment Hits Multi-Decade Low

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Unemployment rates saw no change over December, holding strongly at 4.1 percent. While the number Americans with jobs increased by 104,000 according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The total employed Americans increased from 153,917,000 and grew to 154,021,000, during the month of December.

The number of people participating in the labor force, the civilian labor force level also increased in December, and 64,000 Americans were recorded to join employment in December. The people who left the labor force were 96,000.

The bureau, further, uses the data to make an estimate of those not in the labor force. The agency counts such people by those who didn’t join work and were also not actively searching for employment in the past four weeks.

The participation rate for the labor force – the percentage of the population that already has a job or is actively searching for one whole month, remained to be fixed at 62.7 percent too.

As more and more of the Americans join the Labor force and joined jobs in December last year, the number of unemployed also saw a decline. As of November, 6,616,000 Americans were unemployed. In December, the number declined down to be 6,576,000, a decline of massive 40,000 in a single month.

The unemployment too was at the lowest level in 17 years, as it stuck to be 4.1 percent in December also.

However, the step does not take into account the individuals who went out of the labor force. The measure simply indicates the percentage of people, who did not have a job before – or were searching for one and got employed.

The U-6 measure or the unemployment rate has originally increased from 8 percent in November to 8.1 percent in December.

Approximately 4,915,000 Americans who were working part-time as of December and would rather have a full-time job, but gave the economic reasons for the lack of availability of full-time employment. As per January of 2017, there were almost 5,776,000 part-time workers who were hoping to get a full-time employment opportunity, hence the number of people in search of full-time employment declined by a huge 861,000 people in over a year.

As per the bureau, the part-time workers are the “persons who indicated that they would like to work full time but were working part time (1 to 34 hours) because of an economic reason, such as their hours were cut back or they were unable to find full-time jobs.”

According to the National Federation of Independent Business, an economy which is strong on improvement meant, that it is harder for the qualified to find jobs.

“We’ve been watching this problem build for the last 12 months, but it seems to have reached a critical point in December,” said NFIB president and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Small business owners are converting their optimism into action, and a majority cannot find enough workers to meet higher customer demand.”

Similarly, the NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg said, “Finding qualified workers is now the second biggest concern for small business owners. Taxes occupied the top spot all of last year, but that may drop as the recently enacted tax reform law takes effect. The worker shortage could very well become the number-one problem for small businesses.”