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Federal Reserve Chair Says Job Market is ‘Tougher Now Than in Any Recession’

jobsYesterday 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.

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