Unemployment falls to 42-year low

April 28th, 2016





The 1970’s was a time of radical change for the United States.


In 1973, U.S. troops were withdrawn from Vietnam. The World Trade Center was finished, becoming the tallest building in New York City.


Secretariat won the Triple Crown and Nixon stood on trial for the Watergate Scandal.


The economy in 1973 was still considered a part of the end of America’s golden age, which was a time of large economic growth combined with low unemployment and inflation. America’s “golden age” began during the 1940’s after the Great Depression ended.


In fact, American unemployment was so low that the country hasn’t been able to experience such a low rate since then–until now.


The Situation Report, which is issued at the beginning of every month, dictates how many people have filed for unemployment benefits and initial jobless claims the month prior.


On April 1, it reported low unemployment rates at comparative levels of those during 1973.


The report stated that initial claims fell by approximately 6,000 to 247,000.


While this may sound like a lot of people, it really isn’t once you consider the approximate 318.9 million people who live in the U.S. Initial claims refer to the amount of new people that file for unemployment benefits.


These first-time claims have remained below 300,000 for a consecutive 59 weeks. This phenomenon has also not occurred since 1973.


The total number of those unemployed fell by 39,000 to approximately 2.14 million. It is important to understand that the 2.14 million people not working includes children, the elderly and the disabled who are not capable of working.


In the Situation Report released on April 1, it was estimated that the labor force participation rate is at 63 percent. This means that 63 percent of all persons capable of working, are working to some extent.


While these indicators seem to show good news for the U.S., it doesn’t mean that everything will continue to go well.


For example, in 1974, America’s golden age ended when the price of oil spiked, and inflation grew to an alarming 10 percent.


It would be nice to say that America is re-entering its golden age. However, without the same repeated economic success that occurred between the 1940s and early 1970s, all that can be determined is that America is in an age of uncertainty.