As the jobs market has remained in the black, it’s become increasingly difficult to quantify the extent to which unemployment is affecting the economy.
But a new report released by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute suggests that, at least for the foreseeable future, the unemployment rate will likely remain well below 8% for the long-term.
The report, released Monday, found that the U.S. has the sixth-lowest unemployment rate in the world, and has averaged a 3.6% jobless jobless pace for the past year.
According to the report, which looked at data from January through March, the average jobless figure in the U and Mexico in 2016 was 3.9%.
That figure was even lower in the Midwest, where the average unemployment rate was just 1.5%.
“While the average annual jobless unemployment rate for the U’s metropolitan areas in 2016 fell below 5%, that figure was well below the 6.5% average job loss reported in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ October estimate,” the report states.
“At the national level, the national jobless estimate of 2.3% was lower than the 3.2% that was previously reported.”
While that figure represents a slight increase, the report notes that “the national labor force participation rate is near or below full employment, meaning that roughly a quarter of Americans are working part-time, or are actively looking for work.”
In contrast, the U, Mexico and Canada had rates above 8% in the month of October.
The report also found that while unemployment is low in the short-term, the economy is actually more fragile than it appears.
“Despite the low unemployment rate, the labor market is already in the midst of a major expansion and contraction cycle that will affect the entire economy,” the study stated.
“The pace of expansion has slowed dramatically in recent years, and unemployment remains far above its peak in mid-2016.”
“As the economy continues to expand, the rate of job growth will increase, while job losses will increase,” the Economic Policy report stated.
In a related report, the Brookings Institution also noted that while the unemployment numbers for the United States have been relatively low for the last decade, the country has experienced a significant expansion in the past three years.
For the full report, click here.