The Department of Labor’s June 2018 jobs report appeared to offer good news on the economy: Unemployment has dipped below 4 percent for the first time since 2000. However, a quick look under the hood reveals that workers are worse off than the unemployment rate might let on. Real wages have declined in the last year, and a recent report from the United Way showed that nearly half of families in the U.S. cannot afford basics like food, housing, and childcare.
At the same time – and on both the Right and Left – policymakers, advocates, and others have repeatedly blamed unemployment on a so-called “skills gap.” If workers gained skills for which labor market demand exists, the argument goes, they would have an easier time getting a job.
The above excerpt was originally published in Forbes.
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