The unemployment rate has fallen below 4%, and it’s at a rate that economists call “full employment.”

Given that there will always be some unemployment in an economy even when everyone can find a job (as some people will be temporarily unemployed in-between jobs, or work seasonal jobs), most economists recognize there’s a “natural rate of unemployment” of around 4-5%.

At 3.9%, the unemployment rate is clearly below that threshold, and for the first time ever, there’s one job opening for every unemployed worker.

According to MarketWatch:

According to the latest data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there were 6.55 million job openings in March. In March, there were 6.59 million unemployed, meaning there are 1.01 unemployed workers for every job.

In July 2009, just as the U.S. exited the Great Recession, there were 6.65 unemployed people for every available job.

Trump unemployment rate

The labor force participation rate fell like a rock during the Obama economy (as people gave up looking for work), and despite the recent historic lows in unemployment, the labor force participation rate has flatlined.

If discouraged workers (who don’t work – but aren’t counted as unemployed because they aren’t actively looking for work) are included in the mix, the unemployment rate in April was 7.8%. A high figure for sure, but slightly inflated due to the fact that it also counts workers that are employed part time for economic reasons as “unemployed,” and still at historic lows:

Trump unemployment rate

All that means is that despite the economy currently at “full employment,” there still is capacity for further growth in the labor force. Furthermore, many current job openings can’t be filled because of the skills gap in this country.

While we have a surplus of liberal arts majors, there is currently a whopping $272 billion worth of unfilled jobs right now. The healthcare industry alone has over 800,000 openings, with over $45 billion in salaries. The tech industry has over $20 billion in salaried positions offered that haven’t been filled.

The economy has finally come back from the Obama years, and everyone who wants a job can get one. The next phase of progress will be in the quality of jobs citizens are obtaining.

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