US Job vacancies have hit near-record levels in February. The unemployment rate dipped to 3.8% in March. While the economy is still close to full employment, Manufacturing jobs are being hit by the COVID-19 government shutdown. However, the overall trend points to a positive future for the US Jobs market. The Federal Reserve is expected to increase the benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point at its May meeting. That will likely spur an increased demand for American workers.
Job vacancies near record levels in February
The US Job Vacancies Report for February showed that employers had 11.3 million openings, slightly below the record set in December. While the number of employees quitting their jobs rose, it remained well below November’s record high. This suggests that the demand for workers is holding steady and that employers are not reducing their staffing levels. However, the number of job vacancies may not indicate that the economy is in a recession.
The latest data from the Department of Labor indicates that US job vacancies hit near record levels in February. There were 11.3 million unfilled positions in February, compared to 6.426 million in January. However, that figure still fell below the 6.705 million recorded in November. The government revised its estimate of hiring for February and January up by 95,000 positions, indicating that the economy is attracting more people than ever before.
Unemployment rate edged down to 3.8% in March
The US unemployment rate dropped to a new two-year low in March, a sign that the labor market has tightened. A tighter labor market is conducive to a May interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve, which is expected to hold steady at three percent. The March jobs report showed that the country’s employment rate edged down to 3.6% from 3.8% in February, while the long-term unemployment rate fell to 1.4 million. The US unemployment rate remained the lowest since December 1969, despite a slew of factors.
The US unemployment rate edged down to 3.8% from 3.9% in February, a one-tenth of a percent drop from the previous month. The rate is expected to be 3.5% by February 2020, the lowest level since 1969. The upward revisions to unemployment data for January and February more than made up for the smaller-than-expected job gains in March. The number of unemployed people fell by 318,000 to reach six million. The pre-pandemic level was 5.7 million.
Manufacturing jobs impacted by COVID-19 shutdown
The shutdown of manufacturing facilities caused by the COVID-19 virus is affecting more than just Nissan. Manufacturing jobs in the U.S. have been reduced as a result of the disease. According to the latest ACEA survey, the shutdown is impacting 1,110,107 Europeans and is affecting more than just the companies that produce these vehicles. This outbreak has impacted the entire automotive supply chain, with an estimated 1,231,038 motor vehicles lost EU wide. This figure is likely to rise as the outbreak continues and more plants are closed.
Small businesses would be the biggest victim. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are expected to be affected. The shutdown would have a profound effect on many small businesses in the Third District, resulting in a decrease in consumer demand. The shutdown would impact more than half of small businesses in the area. Small businesses, in particular, are most likely to be affected, accounting for approximately one-third of the companies in New Jersey and half in Pennsylvania.
U.S. economy closes in on full employment
While economists do not agree on the exact definition of full employment, the plummeting unemployment rate and the accelerating wage growth suggest that the U.S. economy has reached this goal. However, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has refused to define full employment precisely. To determine if the U.S. economy is close to full employment, we can look at the Federal Reserve’s projected employment levels.
In December, the unemployment rate was 3.9%, down from 6.7% a year earlier. By the end of this year, economists expect unemployment to fall to 3.5%. The economy added 199,000 new jobs last month, but less than half of the annual growth rate. In addition, hourly wages rose by 4.7% in December and 2.9% for 2019. However, workers are quitting at the fastest rate since the financial crisis.
Public option for employment a way to address stubborn pockets of unemployment
One of the ways to tackle stubborn pockets of unemployment is to implement a public option for employment. This type of last resort employer creates a buffer of jobs that are guaranteed by government, and uses public money to create them. These jobs are either publicly managed or are nonprofit. While this system may not be perfect, it provides a steady stream of jobs for those who have exhausted other options. Public jobs are a good option if you’re trying to avoid mass unemployment and its pathologies.
The failure to receive unemployment benefits can lead to food insecurity, skipping medication, and losing a home. Unemployment also leads to a rise in domestic abuse and drug abuse, and in extreme cases, suicide. That is why some economists support creating a federal job guarantee to help the unemployed. Others argue that public service jobs can help people maintain their health, housing, and income.