Listen To The Story

We're getting awfully close to what economists call full employment. It means that unemployment is low enough that everyone who wants a job can pretty much find one. So if you push the unemployment rate a whole lot lower, you start to get imbalances in the economy, like acute labor shortages in some sectors and wages spiking as employers scramble to find people to work for them. But by most estimates, we're not there yet. Because even with unemployment down to 4.7 percent, there are still a lot of people in this country who could work, and want to work, but haven't found a job yet. They tend to be less educated, less skilled workers, especially those in industries that are contracting. African-Americans are still unemployed at twice the rate of whites; young people are underemployed overall. Moms in their 20s and 30s are having some challenges, especially in information technology, where skills can become outdated fast. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Mitchell Hartman at @entrepreneurguy