October's Real Unemployment Rate

The last several months have proved the value of not overreacting to any one employment report, especially when we’re already hit the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. Weaker reports might mean that hiring is really slacking off, or it might mean that the labor market is so tight it’s hard for employers to hire when they’re looking to do so. Throughout the first half of 2019, when we saw weakness in hiring it was generally the later. Friday’s employment report presented a picture of a strong economy that’s continuing to deliverer unprecedented opportunities.

The current unemployment rate id 3.5%, that's down .2%. 136,000 jobs were added and we got positive revisions from past months totaling +45,000 jobs. The number one industry for hiring was healthcare. Followed by professional and business services and government.

There were two important takeaways. One, it's the lowest unemployment rate since December of 1969. Two, factoring in the positive revisions, the real number was a solid +181k jobs.

Now the real unemployment rate once underemployed, long-term unemployed and marginally attached people are accounted for was actually 6.9% down from 7.5% in 2018. Another key takeaway is that the real-unemployment rate continues to decline to near-record-low levels. The lowest since December of 2000. Moreover, those unaccounted for in the base unemployment rate include 7 million Americans. 1.3 million long-term unemployed, 4.4 million are underemployed and 1.3 million are marginally attached to the workforce. Lastly, there are only two months in American history with a lower real unemployment rate.

Photo by: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

 

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