For millions of Americans, it's getting easier to find a job than it's been in years. But many of them are having a hard time finding one that comes with a good paycheck.
Some seven years after the Great Recession ended, U.S. payrolls continue to expand at a healthy clip.
On Thursday, the government reported that first-time applications for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest levels since 1973. In the time since the recession ended, some 14 million new jobs have been created and roughly a quarter million new paychecks are being produced each month.
That strength in hiring also has prompted millions of Americans who had given up looking for work to resume their job hunt. Between September and March, some 2.4 million people entered or re-entered the government's official count of the workforce job market, the second-largest six-month increase on record.
But the biggest jump in the so-called labor force participation rate is coming from those with the lowest level of education and job skills — taking on some of the lowest-paying jobs.