In the aggregate the US labor market is doing quite well. Unemployment is currently below 5%, and real weekly earnings of full-time workers increased from the 2000 cyclical peak to the current period of near full employment. The difficulties lie behind the aggregates. Earnings inequality continues to rise, with the growth in earnings most prevalent among workers in the upper half of the earnings distribution. Even though labor force participation rates of people aged 55 and over have continued to rise, those of adult men aged 20–54 have dropped, continuing a trend. Surprisingly so too have those of women aged 20–54, sharply reversing the previous trend. The earnings of African-American and Hispanic workers relative to whites have not changed greatly and remain far below those of white workers.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at IZA World of Labor – The labor market in the US, 2000–2016