New economic stats from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are coming in from the month of August, and there’s plenty of good news. There were nearly 7 million job openings in August, the highest amount on record, and it’s more than the number of unemployed persons this month, which is at 6.3 million. In other words, there are more job openings than there are people without jobs.
In August, the unemployment rate for people with a college degree was 2.1 percent, while the rate for those with only a high school diploma was 3.9 percent. Both numbers are significantly down from August of last year.
People aren’t just finding more jobs, either: they’re also making more. Last month, payrolls increased by 2.9% (77 cents) on a year-over-year basis. The highest increase in earnings was seen in the utilities sector, 4.8%, while the lowest increase was seen in manufacturing, which had only a 1.8% increase in earnings.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, increased by 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. The CPI measures the changes in price of essential consumer purchases such as food, clothes, housing, medical care, and education. It’s a general benchmark for the cost of living.
Overall, the economic picture looks good: people are finding jobs, and the average worker’s earnings are outpacing the cost of living.