Jobs report: Unemployment down, wages stagnant
COLUMBIA - A federal report says labor demand is at its highest level since 2001.
A Tuesday U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic's Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) said there were 4.835 million job openings across the United States. If accurate, that would be the most job openings in the United States in 13 years.
Economists often use job openings to determine labor demand.
The JOLTS report comes on the heels of last week's federal jobs report which said unemployment fell below 6 percent for the first time since the Bush administration.
Mid-Missouri's unemployment is even better than the national average. Boone County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, at about 4.5 percent. Cole and Callaway counties unemployment rates are slightly higher, at slightly above 5 percent.
According to JobFinders President Anne Williams, mid-Missouri's economy is looking up. Williams said hiring in almost every field has been great and that growth has "no end in sight." However, Williams said the growth this time around has been more controlled, thanks to memories of a recession just a couple years ago.
Williams is president of JobFinders, a business which has connected potential employees with employers for 28 years. Williams says all the businesses she works with have been hiring.
JobFinders, itself has grown. After cutting its staff to around 70 during the height of the recession, Williams says her staff is now more than 200.
National growth has not been that explosive, but last week's jobs report says hiring is up 29 percent since the height of the recession in 2009.
While most economic indicators have been good, median wages have remained stagnant. Also according to the September jobs report, the amount of people participating in the workforce reached a three decade low.