According to a press release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 214,000 jobs were added by the U.S. economy, making the unemployment rate fall to 5.8 percent. This is the lowest unemployment rate since the 2008-2012 global recession. Furthermore, the job figures from August and September of this year have been updated to show another 31,000 additional jobs, showing 673,000 new jobs within the last three months.
Of the additional jobs, the fields that gained the most momentum in October were food services, general merchandise, automobile dealers, health care, machinery, furniture and computer design.
According to Time, this month has been the 56th straight month of private-sector job gains in the U.S. so far. Make no mistake: This is a great success of President Obama and the American people.
Let this be said: our economy is improving. This is despite the fact that around 40 percent of Americans asked by Gallup are worried about the economy and around 15 percent are worried about the job market in particular.
But why would they be worried? Well, the economy is certainly not spotless:
- Employment discrimination is still visible. Unemployment rate for Caucasians fell from 5.1% to 4.8% (-0.3%) while unemployment of African Americans remained at more than double of these figures, only decreasing slightly from 11 to 10.9% (-0.1%). The unemployment rate for women (5.4%) remains higher than those of their male counterparts,
- Those without employment for a long time continue to be without a job,
- Wages stagnated, only climbing 3-4 cents per hour on average. This may very well have helped the Republican Party win big in the 2014 elections, as Bloomberg stated.
And most importantly, numbers are numbers. Americans don’t believe that the economy is going well because they may not be benefited by it directly: The wealth gap continues to increase as indicated by stagnating wages and increasing profits by – primarily big – business. This is huge: According to a 2014 study by Harvard students, the wealth gap may lead to an unstable economy in the long run. It is time President Obama does more than talk about wealth inequality – he has to act. Hopefully Congress will act with him.