David P. Sims, CPA Blog | U.S. Unemployment Rate hits 9 Year Low at 4.6% | Talkmarkets
Certified Public Accountant

David Sims is a Certified Public Accountant residing in Richmond, Virginia.

U.S. Unemployment Rate hits 9 Year Low at 4.6%

Date: Friday, December 2, 2016 9:12 AM EDT

Non-farm payrolls for November were reported at 178,000, slightly lower than forecasts of 180,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%, indicating that labor conditions are tightening. How much lower can it go?

US Unemployment Rate Chart

US Unemployment Rate data by YCharts

The U6 rate is still 9%, indicating that we have a little ways to go before full employment. During the dotcom boom, the U6 rate dropped to about 6.25%. During the last economic boom, it touched about 8.0% in early 2007. The U6 rate is typically used to measure whether the U.S. economy has reached full employment in jobs that match their training and preference (not flipping burgers).

The BLS describes the U6 rate as follows:

U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force

Wages also unexpectedly dropped.

The Federal Reserve has recently indicated that they will raise the target rate in December. Meanwhile, the ten year Treasury rate is up more than 50 basis points since the recent election.  If the current trend continues, expect more frequent increases to the target rate. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) actually rose in premarket. That bond ETF is about 9.7% off of the recent high.



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