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Jan 26 2022

Interpreting The Jobs Market Today Is A Hot Mess!

  • Jan 26, 2022

The U.S. U-3 unemployment rate is currently 3.9%, lower than 89% of the time since 1950. But the average duration of those unemployed is 28.6 weeks—longer than 91% of the time since 1950! Monthly job gains have been on fire, rising by an average of 537k during the last year. Nonetheless, the total number of jobs is still almost three million less (-1.8%) than the pre-pandemic employment peak in February 2020. Job openings have never been higher, and wages are supposedly surging (or is the wage rate overstated from a loss of lower-wage service jobs?). Yet almost 2.4 million people in the labor force cannot be enticed back.

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James Paulsen

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James Paulsen / Chief Investment Strategist

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