For the first time since late 2000, the nation’s unemployment level has fallen to 3.9 percent, a benchmark recorded in the U.S. Department of Labor’s just-released April 2018 Employment Situation report.
That report also reveals that starting in the fall of 2016, overall labor force participation among those between 25 and 54 years of age is now at 82.0 percent, up from 81.3 percent in 2016.
While that percentage gain may seem small, in real numbers, according to the Labor Department, it means that more than 900,000 people have found work during that time period.
In a statement, Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor, declared “This is a great time to be a job seeker in America.”
Acosta also noted that 164,000 new jobs were added last month, “including gains in goods-producing industries such as manufacturing, mining and logging, and construction.” Both African-American and Hispanic American unemployment rates, added Acosta, “are at the lowest level ever recorded.”
Two trouble spots revealed in the report: the number of longterm unemployed, or those without jobs for more than two years, remains little changed at 1.3 million nationally.
And the number, more than 400,000, among those classified as “discouraged workers,” which has shown little improvement in the last year.
“Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them,” the report said.
By Garry Boulard
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