Yesterday Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke about helping “Main Street, not Wall Street.”
She didn’t just focus on the unemployment rate but she did talk about a variety of economic indicators pointing to the weak job market.
Are numbers as bleak as they were five years ago? Thankfully, no. Could they be a lot better than they are now? Yes!
Per CNN, she dished about wages rising too slowly. Get this — since the recession, compensation has typically increased two percent each year. Two percent!
Since the recession, worker compensation has increased an average of 2% per year — very low by historical standards.
Yellen explained, “The low rate of wage growth is, to me, another sign that the Fed’s job is not yet done.”
In addition, long-term unemployment is high. Really high. Approximately 3.8 million Americans have been out of work more than six months.
While they’re looking for full-time employment, many people who are currently employed are changing that definition. About seven million Americans hold part-time gigs but would prefer to work full-time ones. In addition, the labor force is pretty darn low. Merely 63 percent of American adults participate in the job market. By participation we mean they have a job or they’re seeking one.
Yellen pointed out that same level is equivalent to numbers from 1978! She mentioned back in ’78, there was a much smaller share of women in the workplace.
And movement isn’t exactly swift. People aren’t voluntarily leaving their jobs to jaunt into a new one. Per the piece, when workers voluntarily leave their jobs, they’re pretty confident they’ll find a new one.