Low Unemployment Rate and Low Labor Force

A low unemployment rate across the United States is fantastic news.  It is certainly nothing to complain about; however, for some of us with small businesses it actually makes it harder to find employees when we need to increase our workforce.  There just aren’t as many people looking for employment!


In September, the unemployment rate in the U.S. fell to a nearly 50-year low.  That’s incredible when you think about it.  That takes us back to the 1960s – some of you reading this weren’t even born yet!  The unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent!  Earnings have had a very slight increase, making the average hourly earnings $27.35 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of November 2018.


One thing the low unemployment rate has done is to help the disadvantaged.  Because there is a shortage of workers, those who have had a harder time finding jobs are now having a better chance of getting hired as there are less potential employees competing for the same position.


It is an interesting mix of job loss and job gain across different markets.  For example, retailers dropped 20,000 jobs because more people are doing their shopping online, creating less of a need at actual retail locations.  Stores just aren’t as busy, so fewer cashiers are needed.  This is actually unfortunate.  We should view this as a good reminder to utilize our local retailers.  While online shopping is undoubtedly convenient, there is still something to be said for being able to actually pick up an item and inspect its quality for yourself, instead of blindly buying online and hoping it meets your expectations.


Other markets added jobs contributing to the low unemployment rate.  Professional and business services, health care, transportation and warehousing, construction, and manufacturing all added jobs, ranging from 18,000 to 54,000 positions.


If you are looking for work, you may want to consider a market that you have not considered in the past.  If the market you usually work in is saturated with employees, try something new that has more available opportunities.  You may find out you love it!  Also, don’t be afraid to apply for something that will require training.  Many employers are willing to hire people without experience if the person is eager to learn and takes direction well.  They don’t have to worry about undoing bad habits or poor instruction from a previous employer.  You are, essentially, a “blank slate.”


At Tripod Aluminum we build beautifully screened pool enclosures, including “Florida rooms,” as well as installing aluminum fences.  All of our materials are made of the highest quality.  That’s what we are looking for in employees too – high quality.  We are often hiring as business is booming due (unfortunately) to two years of back-to-back hurricanes.  Or, if you are looking to have a screened room or aluminum fencing installed and live in the Melbourne, Cocoa, Merritt Island, or Palm Bay areas, then please call us.  We offer free estimates and look forward to meeting with you!

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