September 25, 2016
Recent job numbers show consisting hiring (though slowing down), a steady unemployment rate and layoffs at historically low levels. The workforce participation rate, however, remains stuck near its 40-year-low.
The job news continues offering mixed signals. This, in turn, is a challenge to forecasters, from the Federal Reserve, to investors. The unemployment rate has been less than 5% for close to a year, while the twelve-month trailing average of job creation has been 204,000 a month, far above the long-run average.
However, IHS Markit’s chief economist Nariman Behravesh suggested that averages aren’t an accurate measure. “A lot of low-skilled and blue-collar workers have been left behind,” he commented. “They might have a job, but it pays less than the job they had before the recession.”
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