Reality = our perspective - We're the most optimistic on job opportunities we've been in well over a decade:
Bottom Line: We're all familiar with the saying that "perception is reality". As an analyst I'm heartened with reality is actually reality. That's the case with our view of the overall labor market. Pew Research studies our optimism on the "jobs" market regularly. We're the most optimistic we've been on overall opportunities since 2000. It just so happens that the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since December of 2000.
Currently the base unemployment rate is 4.1% - the lowest since December of 2000. Starting in January of 2001, a majority of Americans felt that job opportunities were difficult to find in their community. That trend of a negative outlook on jobs continued until November of 2016. Our peak pessimism, unsurprisingly occurred in 2009 when 85% of Americans said jobs were hard to find in their community compared to just 10% who said there were plenty of opportunities. The most recent research from Pew shows that 50% of Americans currently think there are plenty of job opportunities compared to 42% who say there aren't enough opportunities. That's not to say it's all good news. The biggest frustration we still have is the cost of living compared to our incomes.
Currently only 9% of Americans say their income is rising faster than the cost of living. 40% say they're staying about even and 49% say they're still falling behind. All of the figures are the best they've been since prior to the recession but clearly there's still a lot of need for improvement. And as for the Trump effect...
While 49% of Americans felt that President Trump hasn't had much of an economic impact, overall 11% more Americans than not, feel he's had a positive economic impact.