The Perks Of Counting The Wallflowers : Planet Money It's jobs day! But the unemployment number might not be the most important thing to watch.
NPR logo The Perks Of Counting The Wallflowers

The Perks Of Counting The Wallflowers

The U.S. economy is improving steadily. The unemployment rate continues to fall. Usually, when companies expand their workforces and start hiring, the supply of workers dries up and wages start to climb faster.

But that's not happening right now. Wages are rising at a measly 2.6 percent. That's barely higher than inflation.

Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, says the way we classify workers misses a key part of the potential workforce. And there's a lot more slack in the labor market than you'd think just by looking at the unemployment rate.


Newly Employed People Who Weren't Looking for a Job

Wage Growth

Prime Age Employment

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