Economic news is usually dismal, but the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is optimistic. A recent economic trend has a direct positive impact on employees.

Unemployment Is Down

It has been almost twenty years since the numbers for unemployment were as low as they were in the third quarter of 2018. As of June 2018, the national unemployment rate was only 4%.

That means that of the people who are of an age to work and want to work, only 4% of them are currently out of a job. More people are employed, but are they being paid a decent wage?

Wages Are Up

The BLS also reported that employers are spending more money on their employees. In addition to increasing wages, many companies across the nation are offering more employee benefits, such as insurance, paid time off, and 401k contributions.

All of this information is great, but what if it doesn’t apply to your personal situation?

What If I’m Unemployed or Underemployed?

There are still people who either can’t find a job or have a job that doesn’t pay enough to cover living expenses. If you fall into either category, there is hope. Companies are paying more and offering more benefits because there is a lack of skilled workers in the American workforce.

Many applicants have general education, but very few have specific skills. For example, there are a lot of nurses, but there are not enough skilled nurses, such as oncology, pediatric, or anesthesia nurses. Honing a more specific skill set could be your ticket to a well-paying job with good benefits. Find a trade or a specific niche. Research job listings, education and credentialing requirements, and find a reliable mentor within the industry to help you get your foot in the door.