Unemployment swings low

Low unemployment means fewer people are looking for jobs these days. Therefore, landscape professionals should know how the numbers affect their own businesses. As the number of available workers decreases, productivity of existing staff becomes even more important. Knowing the trends in employment can help your business prepare for the year ahead.

The unemployment rate dipped to 3.9 percent in September. Over the past year, the unemployment rate has fluctuated from 3.9 to 4.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The bureau reports that both the civilian labor force, 140.6 million, and the labor force participation rate, 66.9 percent, remained steady in September.

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The low unemployment statistics were accompanied by an increase in payroll employment. According to the Department of Labor, total nonfarm payroll employment rose in September by 252,000 to 131.8 million. So far this year, the bureau reports that employment has increased by an average of 192,000 per month.

With a low unemployment rate and an increase in available jobs, the labor market is growing tight. In a labor-intensive business such as landscape construction, these trends portend continuing staffing challenges to be met to maintain productivity in business.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor

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