The unemployment rate affects everyone. Whether you’re looking for work or not, overall joblessness indicates economic health. In a thriving economy, unemployment is low. After a recession starts, layoffs start, and the job situation doesn’t improve until the economy is healthy again.
The unemployment rate conveys what other combined indicators are showing. If you’re in retail, it tells how many people have paychecks for buying. If you’re looking for work, unemployment numbers tell you how much competition you have.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor gathers data and provides statistics on things like inflation, workplace injuries and unemployment. This past month, their news release on unemployment painted the brightest jobs picture America has seen in half a century.
Unemployment By the Numbers
Unemployment declined by 0.2 in April to reach 3.6 percent. That’s the lowest unemployment rate since December 1969. Employers added 263,000 jobs, a number higher than expected. Plus, the road ahead looks positive. “The job market is holding firm,” said Mark Zandy, chief economist for Moody Analytics. “as businesses work hard to fill open positions.”
All Categories See Improvement
There are fewer Americans out of work, and that spans across demographics. Unemployment fell for people with disabilities and veterans. It also dropped for those with only a high school degree. Unemployment for Hispanics is at its lowest point since 1973. For women, it hasn’t been this low since 1953.
Low unemployment creates opportunities, so minorities and people just starting their careers can get their foot in the door. It also improves gender balance, since women are more likely to find work in male-dominated industries.
Industries With Biggest Gains
Some of the most noteworthy job gains were in professional and business services, construction, health care and social assistance. Professional and business services employers added 76,000 more jobs alone. Of those, many were administrative, support services and computer systems design.
Construction jobs growth is another indicator of a strong economy. Employers in that sector added 33,000 jobs last month. Healthcare grew by 27,000 last month and by 404,000 in the last year.
Wages Keep Climbing
Fewer Americans are out of work, and the ones who get a paycheck are earning more. Average hourly wages for all employees went up six cents just in April. The current average hourly wage is $27.77, up 3.2 percent in the past year.
Find Your Dream Job
Unemployment numbers are low in East Texas, and top employers are looking for you. Check out our online job postings, then fill out an application to experience our fresh approach.