The number of jobs increased last month, but not by very much:
The growth rate is just under one percent annualized, which puts it just a tad below population growth. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.5 percent.
The labor market tightness explains much of the slow job growth. There simply are not a lot of people looking for work who match the qualifications needed. If the economy had another million people with necessary skills, including the soft skills that make up work ethic, those million would find jobs fairly quickly. Rising wage costs emphasize that labor market tightness is holding back the economy.
Business planning implication: continue to think of employee retention and recruitment as a critical competitive challenge. Check our my tips for employee retention and for hiring in a tight labor market.