Americans Are Entering the Workforce at a Record Rate

February 7, 2020

A booming labor market is pulling in new workers at a record rate. In recent months, nearly three-fourths of all new hires came from outside the workforce, meaning they were not actively looking for a job in the month before they were hired. This is the highest rate since data started being collected in the early 1990s.

Last month 4.8 million Americans who were interested in working but not actually searching for a job were pulled off the sidelines. The fact that these Americans were able to find work without a prolonged period of job searching suggests there is still room for growth in the labor market, but it may also explain the tepid wage growth that stands at odds with a tight labor market.

Workers from outside the existing labor force generally command lower wages than hires who are coming from another job or who have a recent work history.


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