News

Economy & Business

Unemployment Hits 49-Year Low

Steelworkers applaud as President Donald Trump speaks about trade at the Granite City Works steel coil warehouse in Granite City, Ill., July 26, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters )

The U.S. unemployment rate reached 3.7 percent in September — the lowest level recorded since December 1969 — as the economy continued its record-long recovery from the 2007 financial collapse.

Despite the markedly low unemployment rate, the U.S. added just 134,000 jobs over the last month, the lowest one-month gain in a year, according to the Department of Labor.

The decrease in positions filled likely reflects the tight labor market and the resulting difficulty employers have experienced in finding qualified candidates. Hurricane Florence, which ravaged the Carolinas earlier this month, also played a role as thousands of businesses were forced to shut down, though the Department of Labor was unable to determine the storm’s precise impact.

As unemployment reaches a historic low, labor participation has fallen precipitously with the smallest share of adults employed or seeking employment since the 1970’s. The share of Americans working or looking for work remained at 62.7 percent as 150,000 people joined the work force in September.

Economists have suggested the falling labor-force participation rate may be depressing wages, which have not risen to the level one would expect given the deflated unemployment rate. Wages grew at a substantial 8 cents on the month, but annual wage growth remains stagnant at below three percent — a benchmark unsurpassed since the end of the great recession in 2009.

 

 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More
Culture

An Insider’s Guide to Italian Insults

The tragicomic irony of Chris Cuomo’s pugilistic outburst earlier this week — cursing and physically threatening a man for taunting him with a reference to the movie The Godfather — is that the CNN anchor reinforced the usual tropes about Italian Americans. We are all wise-guys, goons, and Mafiosi, just ... Read More
Religion

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More
World

The End of Hong Kong as We Know It

The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for more than four months now, and no matter how the current crisis concludes in the coming days or weeks, it will mark the end of Hong Kong as we know it. The protests started in response to an extradition bill that was proposed by the city’s Beijing-backed ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Great Mystery

Kevin Williamson disputes my characterization of his riposte. He writes: I wrote that people can choose what kind of work they want to do, and what kind of services they want to consume, without any help from Michael. Kevin then accuses me of being a stouthearted defender of the “Real America.” If ... Read More