U.S. Employment Rates at Historic Levels

by | Jun 8, 2018 | NEWS

The U.S. Department of Labor issued an economic news release on June 1, 2018 detailing the employment situation in the U.S. as of May 2018.

The report showed employment levels at record highs even among minority groups.

Total unemployment is currently at 3.8 percent – it hasn’t been lower than that since 1969. And unemployment rates among black Americans is at an all-time low, 5.9 percent. While still much higher than the rates for white Americans – 3.5 percent – the gap is closing.

See the chart below from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics detailing the rates for various groups.

There are over 6.7 million jobs available in the U.S. currently and as CNBC reported earlier this week, “As of April, the total workers looking and eligible for jobs fell to 6.35 million, a decrease from 6.58 million the previous month. The number fell further in May to 6.06 million.”

With so much of the population employed and positions open without workers to fill them, we should be seeing wages growing as well, but so far, employers don’t seem motivated to increase wages.

Wages have increased only 2.7 percent this year – a figure that has economists stumped. With such a low unemployment rate and so many open positions, companies should be raising wages to compete for employees.

Even with the relatively low wage growth, economists are happy with the current employment situation as it fuels a growing economy. As employment rates grow, spending increases, which improves company profits which, in turn, stimulates the need for more employees.

As long as nothing – like say political upheaval or a world-wide trade war – disrupts the current trend, the U.S. could be in for historic levels of prosperity.