Lately, the unemployment in the United States is a hot topic among many businesses and financial experts. The national average is currently holding steady at an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, the lowest it’s been in quite some time.
The 4.1 percent rate is the national average, but on a state level, the unemployment rate can be lower or higher, depending on where you live. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of the states with higher populations have higher unemployment, so depending on where you are, there can be a fair amount of variation. For example, states with growing job markets have much lower rates, like in North Dakota, where the oil boom is still ongoing.
Such a low unemployment rate is of course generally accepted as good news, since it’s an indication of American prosperity. However, for businesses, low unemployment can make it more difficult to find competent professionals when making new hires.
As Edward Helmore for The Guardian pointed out, February was a particularly difficult month on the business side, with 326,000 jobs added to the American market. March’s numbers were much calmer, which has allowed unemployment to continue at the same rate.
While it’s important to note the improved unemployment rate, it’s also important to know that those numbers don’t include discouraged and part-time workers who are working below their pay grade or expertise level. This means that part-timers who are looking for full-time work may have larger numbers than the unemployment rate lets on.
Even with that possible source of labor, the baby boomer generation will be leaving the workforce in droves very soon, which will make hiring even tougher for businesses. According to Adam Ozimek for Forbes, the unemployment, while currently holding steady, could fall even lower, or sustain its position for much longer than the Fed believes likely.
Eventually, the scarcity of labor will improve as artificial intelligence and an imminent recession take effect. But those events are still a distant threat for many industries. Meanwhile, businesses need to find a way to fill their vacancies and continue functioning. One of the solutions to this dilemma is to seek out alternatives to hiring, like outsourcing.
Unlike villainized offshore outsourcing, you can outsource different components or positions to different companies that can provide the labor you need for each project. For example, if your company is too small to have its own recruiting team, you can hire another company to perform that task for you. This method is a great way to save money, and find the expert help your business needs when workers are scarce.