Remember when candidate Donald Trump promised us ‘jobs, jobs, and more jobs?’
This week, the US Labor Department announced a wide gap between the number of available jobs and the number of unemployed Americans looking for work.
At the end of April, there were roughy 7.5 million unfilled positions and 5.8 million people looking for work.
This is the largest margin between jobs and unemployment we’ve seen since 2000.
The unemployment rate for May was 3.6% (the lowest in 50 years). Compare this to Obama’s 5% unemployment rate, which in reality was closer to 7% because he didn’t count the people who had given up trying to find a job.
Federal data also suggests a small uptick in the civilian labor force participation rate – which means more able-bodied Americans are working.
As the number of available workers continues to decline, so does the rate of hiring. On average, US employers added 164,000 jobs each month this year (compare to 223,000 in 2018).
“The Number 1 issue our franchises are having right now is they cannot find enough qualified labor to meet the demands,” says Jeff Wall, who owns a home improvement company in Cincinnati. “Everybody’s fighting for the same labor pool at this point, whether it’s new housing starts or remodelers or people in the trades.”
Like other businesses looking for workers, Mr. Wall’s company decided to raise wages and expand benefits to attract labor.
This is great news for employees.