Profiles Of America In Full Employment With the jobless rate at a near 50-year low, employers are struggling to fill open positions. An NPR series looks at the consequences and impacts of an economy at full employment.
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Profiles Of America In Full Employment

With the economy humming, U.S. unemployment is at a nearly 50-year low. Shouldn't we be excited? Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

America Is In Full Employment, So Why Aren't We Celebrating?

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Tanisha Cortez waits on a table at a restaurant in Ames, Iowa. When the previous restaurant she worked for closed, Cortez applied to others and had job offers right away. Jobs are plentiful in Ames, a small city of more than 65,000 residents tucked amid farm fields north of Des Moines. Olivia Sun for NPR hide caption

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Olivia Sun for NPR

In This Town, You Apply For A Job And You Get It

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Courtney Hering, who is getting married next year, is planning a slightly more lavish wedding reception. After seven years at Kohler, she finally feels like she has found a professional home. Sara Stathas for NPR hide caption

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Sara Stathas for NPR

2-Tiered Wages Under Fire: Workers Challenge Unequal Pay For Equal Work

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Sam Smith, Brittany Smith and their daughter Erelah outside their Charlotte home. The Smiths moved to Charlotte looking for change and opportunity. They are part of an influx of African Americans to Mecklenburg County, where the African American population has ballooned by 64% since 2000. Swikar Patel for NPR hide caption

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Swikar Patel for NPR

As Employment Rises, African American Transplants Ride Jobs Wave To The South

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The Martinez family stands in front of their home in New Jersey. During a speech at her graduation, Alondra said to her parents: "Mamá, papá, lo logramos." Mom, dad, we made it. Mohamed Sadek for NPR hide caption

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Mohamed Sadek for NPR

Hispanic Unemployment Has Hit Record Lows. But Does That Mean Progress?

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Gaby Gemetti decided to leave the workforce after having her second child. In March she started a "returnship," a new type of program to recruit and retrain women like her who are looking to resume their careers. Here, Gaby and John Gemetti are seen with their children, Carlo and Gianna. Courtesy of Shannon Wight Photography hide caption

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Courtesy of Shannon Wight Photography

Hot Job Market Is Wooing Women Into Workforce Faster Than Men

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A lot of Iowa business owners in towns like Mount Pleasant are facing chronic labor shortages. One solution is to encourage more outsiders to come to the state, including immigrants. Jim Zarroli/NPR hide caption

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Jim Zarroli/NPR

With Workers Hard To Find, Immigration Crackdown Leaves Iowa Town In A Bind

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"I had one day I worked six hours and made $50. It really wasn't worth it. ... But it doesn't happen that often," says Hilary Gordon, who works as a shopper for the grocery delivery app Instacart in a suburb of Sacramento, Calif. "The other day I worked 11-and-a-half hours and made $265. Great? No. But good." Alina Selyukh/NPR hide caption

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Alina Selyukh/NPR

Why Suburban Moms Are Delivering Your Groceries

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Dani Izzie at her home in rural Virginia. More than a decade ago, she slipped in the bathroom and suffered a spinal cord injury that has left her unable to walk. She works as a social media manager for Spinergy, a company that makes high-performance wheels for wheelchairs. Greg Kahn for NPR hide caption

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Greg Kahn for NPR

Many Are Replacing Disability Checks With Paychecks

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Ichard Oden works at an apartment complex under construction in Westland, Mich. Elaine Cromie for NPR hide caption

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Elaine Cromie for NPR

Former Inmates Are Getting Jobs As Employers Ignore Stigma In Bright Economy

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