Confidence in the American economy is continuing to rise as employers continue to hire workers and increase wages. Today’s release of the May jobs report revealed that the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, tying a low only reached once before in the last five decades. Since the beginning of the year, the economy has averaged 207,000 new jobs per month, a faster pace than in the previous two years. In May alone, 223,000 new jobs were added to the economy. All major unemployment measures are in decline, including the U-6 rate that includes discouraged workers and those marginally attached to the labor force. The resilience of the economy is evident across a wide number of demographics. For individuals with only a high school diploma, the unemployment rate is at its lowest since 2001, while the unemployment rate among minorities, particularly African and Asian Americans, has been steadily declining.
The jobs numbers have been good news for business as well. Businesses in the retail, healthcare, and construction sectors have provided the bulk of the new jobs. The latest National Federation of Independent Business employment survey indicates that small businesses raising wages hit a record high in the U.S this month, and economists are confident that wages will continue to climb as competition for workers grows. Hourly earnings are up by 2.7 percent over the last 12 months. Wage gains for managerial workers are up by 2.8 percent, making it the largest 12-month increase since July 2009. Companies have already announced pay increases and attractive benefits packages to lure new workers, and economists believe that there is potential for even more growth. At present, slightly over 60% of the population is employed, which is still below pre-recession levels. This means that the additional growth is not only possible but likely.
The jobs numbers continue to be welcomed news for family businesses who remain eager to expand, invest, and employ. The newly released economic figures are indicative of a resurging economy that will help both business owners and employees across the country.