Jobs and Interest Rate Cuts

by Mischa Fisher, Chief Economist | August 2019

This morning underscored why we saw two dissenting voices at the Fed meeting on Wednesday; no matter which way you look at it – employment numbers, unemployment rate, wage growth – the labor market remains strong and the American consumer continues to prop up the global economy.

However, there is a real economic downside in these numbers that is also fixable: the often-overlooked metric of ‘persons employed part time for economic reasons’, commonly known as involuntarily underemployed. These 4 million people are a missed recruiting and training opportunity for the home services industry, where we face a persistent labor shortage and unfilled jobs.

As the labor market continues to sit at an all-time high, we should be collectively shifting our focus to sustainable ways to fix long-term problems.

If we can better adjust our education and skills training pipeline and shift the economically disenfranchised and underemployed into these available skilled jobs, it would improve overall incomes and welfare dramatically for both workers and consumers.