UNEMPLOYMENT / DEC. 20, 2014
version 3, draft 3

U.S. Experiences Best Job Growth in 15 Years

employment

This year may be the best time for the U.S. job market since the late ‘90s.

According to an Associated Press report shared by ABC News, 2.65 million jobs were added this year, resembling historical records prior to the economic collapse.  

In November alone, the workforce implemented more than 300,000 available job positions. 

Since the start of 2014, most of the labor market’s progress can be contributed to job growth in related fields like retail, restaurant service, education, mailing, and health service.

This is a great achievement for the U.S. job market given the fact that the last time the economy added more than 3 million jobs to the nation’s workforce was between the 80s and 90s.

The unemployment rate now stands at 5.8 percent—the lowest percentage the U.S. employment sector has seen in six years.

Economists believe that the new statistics “indicate that the U.S. economy is on very solid ground,” especially following the 2007 Great Recession that lasted until June 2009.

Additional improvements that most economists are noticing about this year’s rising numbers in job growth include:

  • The rise in hourly pay: The U.S. is experiencing the biggest hourly wage growth yet, which increased by 9 cents to $24.66. Also, within the past year, hourly pay beat the inflation rate. Salary has risen by 2.1 percent whereas the inflation rate is .4 percent less.
  • A low inflation rate: The economy’s 1.7 inflation rate remains less than the 2 percent crisis target. The Federal Reserve associates this improvement with reduced energy costs.
  • The increase in the Treasury note: Interest rates in 2015 are looking promising for investors. The 10-year Treasure note earnings rose by .06 percent  (2.25 percent to 2.31 percent).  

For the most part, the U.S. is still feeling the aftershocks of the recession.   

 On the downside:

  • The unemployment rate is 11.4 percent.
  • 2.8 million people have been without work for six months or more.
  • Since the recession, involuntary part-time workers have increased by 4.1 million.
  • There are nearly 7 million part-time workers who wish they could work full-time employment.

Economy experts are keeping fingers crossed as they continue to expect the U.S. to return to a state where sluggish job growth and an ongoing unemployment upsurge are long-gone topics of concern.  

However, some aren’t too pessimistic about the matter.    

“At this rate, we won’t return to pre-recession labor market health until October 2016 nearly nine years since the recession began," said Economist Elise Gould of the Economic Policy Institute.

A wage gain appears to be a milestone for the country’s struggling economy, but it could be a major issue for the inflation rate, according to the Federal Reserve.

Job market enthusiasts have concluded that, “higher wages could lead to higher prices, and the Fed might feel compelled to raise rates to limit inflation.”

The nation’s economy may be making accelerated strides in comparison to other struggling countries around the globe, but economists feel that the U.S. is far from being completely healed from the Great Recession. 

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