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In this Current Events Friday’s Post (CE-Friday’s), I’ll clue you in on why the current US unemployment rate keeps me up at night – both as a business owner and as a regular red-blooded American.
CE-Friday’s – “What you need to know today in less than 500 words”
The current US unemployment rate is 3.8% (as of March, 2019)
Why is that 3.8% unemployment number significant?
Well, the running 70-year average had been 5.76% with the all-time high at 10.80% in November of 1982 and the all-time low of 2.50% in 1953…
Meaning that our current 3.8% is creeping into record-low territory, and I don’t know about you but I can’t “tell you what the 50’s like”…
As a CEO, this bottomed out unemployment rate is stressing me out a few different ways
1- Finding the GREAT quality Teammates we want is incredibly difficult
One downside as a business owner is that, unlike when I graduated from college (2008), there aren’t as many people out searching for work. As a byproduct – we are seeing fewer job applicants than we ever had before.
2- Retaining our GREAT employees is increasingly difficult and costly
One of the benefits resulting from that series of events is the eye-opening it forced us to do.
It’s not common for employers in our industry to provide many benefits to their employees. And even though we took a counter-culture stance of doing so beforehand, today we are spending more than ever to provide the best quality healthcare options, 401k, paid leave, and other benefits to our employees who each deserve them.
Although it’s great in theory and in practice to provide all of these benefits – they cost money. But that is a choice that the current unemployment rate makes us look harder at.
The availability of benefits and increases in wages themselves are some of the ways we can keep our Team happy and in place.
3- Competitors are out there courting our Team
I’m not the only CEO feeling the pressure of employing and retaining high-quality staff. Many others in our industry and trying to make the same moves. And as a byproduct, they have worked to entice many from our group to join theirs.
There are some benefits of low unemployment, though
More people are at work which means that there are more potential customers in our market. And if our business continues to grow, the core group we have now may feel a greater sense of security and pride in the fact that they’ve helped make a significant positive impact on our business.
That ownership and growth can lead to them accepting more responsibilities and an increase in fulfillment.
And as a ‘regular guy’, it’s nice to know that if I need to pick up some additional part-time work to help out the team at home, I’m in a more competitive position to do so now than I was a decade ago.
How is the current unemployment rate impacting your life or business?