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Unemployment Rate Experiences its First Increase in Nearly a Year

Teenagers and college students should have it a little easier when looking for work.

Brandon Walker

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The national unemployment rate rose to 4% – indicating the first increase in almost a year, CNN Money reported. In the month of June alone, businesses across the country racked up over 200,000 new jobs. The economy continues to grow as more jobs have been added each month for eight years straight – the longest stretch to date.

The economy is in good shape, and the reason why the unemployment rate creeped up is because over 600,000 Americans joined the work force. CNN Money says that as a result, people who previously gave up on their job search have started to look for work again.

So, the good news is that new entrants to the work force – like teenagers and college students – have it a little easier when trying to look for jobs. According to Satyam Panday, senior economist at S&P Global Ratings, the labor market has more room to grow.

“It’s a good thing. There are more people coming into the labor force,” said Panday. “It indicates that we have more labor market slack.”

Cathy Barerra, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, said that the remaining slack in the job market could restrict wage growth. And as an effect, employers might not feel the need to raise the pay for employees.

When discussing the retention of new workers, The New York Times explained that “average pay raises have been relatively measly considering the demand for labor.”

“Workers, particularly in lower-wage sectors, have other complaints. Many employers limit hours to avoid paying benefits like health insurance. Work shifts frequently change with little notice, and wage increases are still insufficient to cover living costs,” said The New York Times.

Certain industries, such as retail and construction, experienced highs and lows since the job market expansion.

“Every sector of the economy added workers in June except retail, which lost 22,000 jobs to offset gains in May,” said CNN Money. “Construction jobs have increased by 282,000 over the year to meet housing demand, and mining has tacked on 95,000 jobs as energy prices jump.”

Manufacturing jobs rose by 36,000 in June as well. Hopefully this trend keep pace as unemployment rates tend to fluctuate within the market.

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Brandon Walker is a junior finance major at Temple University. He is a committed writer and jazz pianist. Brandon has written for The Temple News and is interested in a career in business and communications. He can be reached at brandon.walker@temple.edu.

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