The new unemployment numbers are out and despite a significant slowdown in hiring in August, the U.S. is nearing a state of “full employment.” After reaching a 16-year record low unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, we moved up a tenth of a percent. If you live in certain cities and if you’re black you probably missed the good news. Nevertheless, there’s an emergent discourse around our below-5 percent unemployment rate, which economists deem as full employment.
A recent Reuters article citing a sharp decline in home sales offered a caveat: “The housing market remains underpinned by a strong labor market, which is near full employment.” A CNBC article quoted a Goldman Sachs economist as saying the job market is doing so well it could "overshoot" full employment. If you heard the term but felt removed from the conversation, don’t worry.