It is a well known fact that job growth and job diversity drive economic growth. In turn the Rent-to-Own Home market benefits. So it’s alarming to learn that according to a new report from the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) we may be looking at a slowing economy and slower job growth overall despite unemployment rates falling. A hurricane and disaster ridden September drove employment rates down but has now recovered in October. Since the beginning of the year the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons has fallen. While the rates of unemployment for the adult women and whites worker groups has declined overall, other major worker groups have seen little change. The number of long-term unemployed persons has also seen little change and accounts for roughly 25 percent of those unemployed. Additionally, Labor participations rates have shown little movement since the start of 2017 and the employment-population ratio has very slightly increased. Discouraged workers, those who believe there are no jobs available and are currently not seeking employment has also changed very little since last year.
Despite some small growth in October over the sharp declines in September the average job growth year over year has actually fallen. Though still climbing, the average rate of job growth year over year has been steadily growing slower and slower which could signal the beginning of a stagnating job market.
Some key information from the report:
The unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 4.1 percent in October, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 281,000 to 6.5 million. Since January, the unemployment rate has declined by 0.7 percentage point, and the number of unemployed persons has decreased by 1.1 million.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (3.6 percent) and Whites (3.5 percent) declined in October. The jobless rates for adult men (3.8 percent), teenagers (13.7 percent), Blacks (7.5 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), and Hispanics (4.8 percent) showed little change.
In October, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.6 million and accounted for 24.8 percent of the unemployed.
The labor force participation rate decreased by 0.4 percentage point to 62.7 percent in October but has shown little movement on net over the past 12 months. The employment-population ratio declined by 0.2 percentage point over the month to 60.2 percent, after increasing by 0.3 percentage point in September. The employment-population ratio is up by 0.5 percentage point over the year.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined by 369,000 to 4.8 million in October. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs. Over the past 12 months, the number of involuntary part-time workers has decreased by 1.1 million.
In October, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. (data not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey
Among the marginally attached, there were 524,000 discouraged workers in October, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (data not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.0 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in October had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.