February 3, 2017
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ January 2017 metrics offered good news on the employment front. Specifically, total nonfarm employment increased by 227,000, with gains taking place in retail trade, construction and financial activities. The 4.8% unemployment rate was little changed.
The downside? Wages only increased by 0.1%, meaning the year-over-year average fell back to “its disappointing 2.5% trend,” Carl L. Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust, told the New York Times.
There is also slack in the labor market, according to other analysts. Certain demographic groups, such as high school graduates, laid-off factory workers, aging baby boomers and members of minorities haven’t found their footing in the workforce. Those who are working part-time, but would prefer full-time jobs but have given up searching, increased to 9.4% from the 9.2% reported in December.
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