Full Employment? Even With 313,000 New Jobs, We’re Not There Yet
The February gain in jobs — 313,000 — was impressive on a number of levels. But it also confirms something we’ve been saying for some time: We aren’t anywhere near full employment.
First, 313,000 was 50,000 more than expected, and is the biggest monthly gain in jobs in a year and a half.
In fact, since the recession ended in June 2009, there have only been six months in which job gains beat this number — which doesn’t say much for President Obama’s economic performance.
Better still, these employment gains were across the board. In fact, almost a third of the increase was in goods-producing industries, which climbed at a rate more than twice as fast as the overall job market.
The only part of the economy that didn’t grow was government, which can also be seen as good news. The federal workforce, in fact, dropped in February, and is now 14,000 lower than when Trump took office
At 4.1%, the overall unemployment rate is at a 17-year low, while the unemployment rates among blacks and Hispanics remain at historic lows.
But the employment numbers also show why, despite these strong gains, the economy is still far from “full employment.”