The April U.S. jobs report appeared to be more or less positive as unemployment fell to 6.3 percent — the lowest level since 2008 — and employers added more than 288,000 jobs. But when we look closer at the numbers, the jobless rate fell because more people dropped out of the workforce, pushing labor market participation to a 36-year low.
The workforce shrank by more than 800,000 people to nearly 63 percent. It’s a mix of baby boomers leaving the workforce, more young adults choosing college instead of working, and those who’ve given up finding a job. The Economic Policy Institute said the unemployment rate would be closer to 10 percent if all jobless Americans were actively looking for work.
But according to employment website Career builder, the country’s creating jobs but many employers can’t find skilled applicants to fill them. The jobs require specialized training and education, which can be hard to afford for someone who’s already unemployed.
Nearly all the jobs lost in the recession have returned, but questions remain over their quality. The National Employment Law Center says more than 40 percent of those jobs are low-paying. Higher quality jobs mean people have more money to spend on goods and services, which helps boost the overall economy.
Lindsay Stanton, chief client officer at Digi-Me provided more insight about the job market.