If you are looking to add employees to your farm or business, you already know that is a herculean task these days. That’s because the U.S. unemployment rate remains historically low at 3.6%.
The dearth of job seekers is so pronounced that it remains at the lowest point in nearly a half century and matched the job market conditions that existed before the pandemic struck in February 2020. This analysis is based on June 2022 data released by the U.S. Department of Labor and its Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Overall hiring remained brisk across all categories except for public sector positions as government agencies cooled on adding staff. While companies across all categories showed more interest in filling open positions, there are signs employment is beginning to temper in the technology and real estate sectors. These areas often are impacted more quickly when interest rates and the cost of capital rise.
While unemployment numbers remain at a low point, the number is a bit deceiving. That’s because the labor force participation rate stands at 62.2%. The participation rate measures the number of Americans who are currently working or actively seeking employment.
Prior to the start of the pandemic, the labor force participation rate stood at 63.4% in February 2020. Given that the U.S. has a population of 332 million people, a 1% upward shift in job seekers would go a long way into filling all those “Help Wanted” signs posted across the country.