The unemployment rate in the United States has seen quite the milestone reached this year. In April, it was announced that the US unemployment rate has decreased to only 4.4% which represents 7.1 million people. This number is also an improvement from the previous month’s 4.5%, which was better than what the market had predicted (4.6%). It has been recorded that unemployment rates haven’t been this low since the month of May, 2007. That means that 2017 is close to hitting as low a number in this category as the US hasn’t seen in 10 years. The labor force participation rate has also gone down to 62.9% after a 11 month battle at 63%.
The important shift in unemployment rates and the hope of seeing it go down still
It’s hard to attribute this decline in unemployment to just one factor, as there are many that have been part of the fight against unemployment. With the market shifting constantly and new jobs being discovered and created such as work from home jobs (you can check here my blog for more on work from home jobs) the country has seen a massive improvement in an uphill battle, granted over a large period of time. Sure, when discussed in percentages, the advancements might not seem as big, but flat numbers show that 854.000 people departed the unemployed category just over the year, showing even more great promise for the further decline of unemployment rates.
The marginally attached to the labor force
There were also a lot of people that were marginally attached to the labor force. Around 1.5 million to be more precise have not made the unemployed list because at the time of inquiry, they had not spent the previous 4 months looking for a job. The number has gone down from last year by around 181.000. The category for people that are marginally attached to the labor force consists of persons who were not in the labor force, but wanted to be and were looking for a job in the past 12 months, announcing their availability towards labor.
The situation of the long-term unemployed
That being said however, not much has changed for the long-term unemployed, and by that nothing has changed. The number of long-term unemployed has remained at the previous count of 1.6 million in April. The number translates to 22.6% of the total unemployed. However, over the year this number saw a decline of 433.000. To be considered long-term unemployed, one must be jobless for at least 27 weeks.
It remains to be seen if the remainder of the year will be enough to force those numbers even further down or if the lowest in 10 years is as good as it’s going to get.