We live in an age of long business cycles.

The current U.S. expansion, now in its 86th month, started in July 2009.

The two expansions before that lasted 73 months and 120 months, respectively.

That’s another way of saying that once the engines of the U.S. economy become engaged, they tend to chug along for quite a while.S

o it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that last Friday’s payroll report was so positive. The U.S. economy created 255,000 payroll jobs in July, while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent.

This marked the 70th straight month in which the economy added payroll jobs, a record.The data highlights an emerging, and surprising, trend in the economy.

Increasingly, jobs are plentiful while workers are scarce.Each month, in addition to releasing its headline payroll stats, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) goes inside the numbers to offer more nuanced insights into the job market. One of the metrics it tracks is the number of “persons who are looking for a job.

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Illustration by venimo/Shutterstock

 

Read all: Power Shifts to the People in Job Hunt

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