Jobs

There's a lot more slack in the American labor market

This chart was inspired by the wonderful FRED blog, and it shows a lot more slack in the American labor market than the record-low unemployment rate would suggest.

The bottom line: America hasn't run out of workers, not even close. Unemployment might be low, but employment could rise significantly from its current levels.

Off the sidelines and earning $30 an hour

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

U.S. companies — desperate for workers despite the threat of recession — are lowering the qualifications they've previously demanded of new employees. But they are finding that many long-term jobless Americans first require training and help in the very basics — getting to work, doing so on time, and paying for any required uniforms.

What's happening: Cities across the U.S. are stepping in with "life and employment skills" classes and assistance for Americans who have been left out of the economy — former convicts, ex-drug addicts, and others at the fringes.

More stories loading.