CHICAGO (CBS) – The latest government figures put the national unemployment rate at 3.9%, the lowest level since 2000.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole takes a look at Chicago’s unemployment rate and how it compares to the national average.
He reports, in Chicago, the high teach staff at Wicker Park’s DevMynd software is growing.
“We just hired two apprentices. One starts next week,” stated Rebecca Miller-Webster, an employee at the company.
DevMynd says they currently employ 25 people, but says the company keeps expanding.
“We are hiring senior developers and product designers. We’re always on the lookout,” said Miller-Webster.
Rebounding from the Great Recession, the U.S. economy added 164,000 jobs last month, bringing the unemployment rate to 3.9%.
This month marks the 91st consecutive month of job gains.
A job fair at a near North side Target Friday is also a sign companies are on the hunt for new workers.
“It’s not so hard coming to the summer because a lot of jobs are hiring,” said Gerardo Cruzado.
Wage growth, however, is still lagging, but that’s calming fears of inflation and the fed hiking interest rates more than anticipated.
“Unemployment tends to reach a low and then it suddenly moves higher. That usually can signal the end of the expansion is high. We don’t think we are there yet,” said Paul Christopher from Wells Fargo Investment Institution.
Locally, metropolitan Chicago’s unemployment rate is a bit higher than the national average, at 4.2%, a reflection of the area’s connection to older school firms in retail and manufacturing. Tech jobs have grown to 13% of the local job scene.
“A lot of us have thought about it and talked about feeling privledged about not having to experience unemployment stress,” said Miller-Webster about feeling lucky to be working in Chicago’s tech industry.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports one of the big mysteries is why pay is rising so gradually. He says in the late 1990s when the job market looked similar, wages were growing about 4% a year. Good news is its keeping the economy from overheating.