Economist: Low, steady unemployment rate signals return of young workers to labor force
- Last Friday’s employment report might be a clue that young workers are slowly returning to the labor force, reports MarketWatch. When the financial crisis hit, many young people chose to remain in school or earn advanced degrees, Jim Glassman, economist at J.P. Morgan Chase, told MarketWatch.
- At the lowest point in the recession, 79% of people age 20 to 45 were in the labor force, down from the pre-recessionary rate of 82%. If the pre-recessionary rate returns, that would mean an additional 2 million people are back in the workforce and a few years of adequate job growth can be expected, added Glassman.
- The Washington Post reports the addition of 178,000 new jobs to the economy and a low unemployment rate of 4.6% for November. MarketWatch said that, according to the San Francisco Federal Reserve, as few as 50,000 jobs could be added monthly to the economy to keep it strong.
People returning to the labor force after an economic crisis, a steady unemployment rate for more than a year and 178,000 new jobs added to the economy spell good news. However, the challenge for young college-educated people is finding employment suited to their skills and knowledge out of this new job growth. Companies, as well, may find high competition for the best young talent.
Unemployment for young people still is significantly higher than the national average. It’s even starker along ethnic lines: among whites, 9.9%; blacks, 20.6%; Asians, 10%; and Hispanics, 11.3% as of July 2016.