Job growth surges by over 300,000 in December
(KTVU) - The nation's current job expansion has now surpassed 100 months, making it the second longest expansion since World War II.
From 1961 to 1969, expansion lasted 106 months. Without a major economic shock, this one could soon beat that. For decades, economists have defined a full employment economy, as unemployment of four percent or less.
"Now, for the first time, we actually have one," said former California Employment Development Department Director Michael Bernick, a labor lawyer with the San Francisco office of the Duane Morris. Bernick says, in the San Francisco Bay Area, virtually all nine counties are under three percent.
"These are unthinkable, unthinkable numbers for much of the past four decades." said Bernick.
These are traditional payroll jobs. Another area of massive growth, is the many freelance, project, contingent and gig jobs that continue to abound. Yet, despite the country creating 300,000 new jobs last month alone, the U.S. unemployment rate crept up from three-point-seven to three-point-nine percent.
"The unemployment rate includes people who are actively looking for work—the labor force participation. As the economy gets stronger, people who aren't looking for work will come into the economy," said Bernick.
Hence, the higher unemployment rate.
Now, the really good news from Bernick: "I think there's no reason to think that at least the job growth will continue throughout 2019. This type of very strong private sector economy is, by far, the best anti-poverty programs."
At some point, there will be a downturn, one that could happen sooner than later if an all-out trade war develops or the world economy slows significantly. These are both currently real dangers.