The U.S. labor market continues to progress, with employment continuing to grow. Nearly 156,000 new jobs were added in the month of August, a great sign that things are still improving for the U.S. economy after the Great Recession of 2008-2009. This information was detailed in a Federal report earlier this month.
“Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 in August, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.4 percent,” the report states. “Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, professional and technical services, health care, and mining.”
The labor market was slow to recover from the Great Recession of 2009-2009, slowly improving over the course of a decade. But there are a lot of positive signs that have restored consumer confidence, with the unemployment rate being at one of the lowest points in U.S. history being one of them.
“Employment has continued to grow,” Orley Ashenfelter, a professor of economics at Princeton University, told InsideSources. “People are moving back into the labor force. Despite that, the unemployment rate is very low. It’s almost a record now in post-war history.”
The current unemployment rate stands at 4.4%, which is close to what economists call “full employment.” The individuals that are unemployed are those that are able to work and simply bouncing between jobs or applying for new work somewhere else. These individuals would be like the 2.7 million workers that quit voluntarily at the end of June 2015. While it was a 25% increase from the unemployment of June 2013, it was because the majority were looking for better work.
All in all, the economy is in good shape, though slightly less than what was expected by the analysts at the U.S. Department of Labor. They had expected between 175,000 and 185,000 jobs to be created. This isn’t the first time they’ve been slightly off in their estimates. The federal agency had estimated that somewhere around 209,000 jobs would have been created in July, though the actual number turned out to be around 189,000.
The estimations aside, there is some other positive news that comes from all of this: wage pressure increasing. Protis Global President Bert Miller started to see this in the industries he works in.
“We’re starting to see signing bonuses come back into play,” Miller said. “You’re seeing signing bonuses, starting to see higher base salaries. You definitely see them in long term incentive plans.”
The U.S. economy still has a little more work to do before it’s back to its full strength, but with the unemployment rate at the lowest in a decade, new jobs added every month, and wages potentially on the rise? It looks like it’s on the right track.