The 39 page Jobs Report released today by the Bureau of Labor showed many, many boring graphs and charts. It also showed that the Unemployment Rate dropped to 4.4%, which is the lowest finding in a decade. Ironically, the Labor Force Participation Rate is also at a 10 year low 62.9%, meaning that even though folks aren’t claiming to be “unemployed”, fewer Americans are working now than at any time since 2007. Less demand for jobs means that employers need to pay more to keep their talent, consequently, wages rose 2.5% from this time last year to a cushy $26.19 per hour. Some talking calculators say that an economy in recovery should be experiencing a 3-4% annual wage growth. Where some surmise that economic growth trails wage increases by several years, we might conclude that we are still a ways away from any real threat of widespread inflation.
A little bit of Cinco de Mayo trivia: Foreign-born workers account for 17% of the total workforce in the United States, and 50% of those in this demographic came into this world in Mexico. If you think that 7.5% is a big population, consider that the state of California by itself accounts of almost 13% of the total population of the United States. Just a bit of trivial information, that’s all.