Full Employment Here We Come

 

When the March jobs report came out Friday, investors and commentators focused on the weak job growth of 98,000.  But they missed the real story.

The civilian unemployment rate hit 4.5% in March for the first time since April 2008. And the way it got there was good news, too. The number of people unemployed five weeks or less declined by 232,000 last month, and there was no change in workforce participation, the Labor Department reported.

Meanwhile, the number of people who have stopped looking for work because they think there are no jobs is down more than 20% from last year, and so is the number of long-term unemployed.

That means Federal Reseve Chair Janet Yellen was probably right when she argued back in January that  the U.S. economy is close to full employment.

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