NYC startup exemplifies strengthening job market

NEW YORK - The Labor Department reported Friday that unemployment fell in August to 5.1 percent - the lowest rate since April 2008.

You can see the signs of a strengthening job market at Hightower, a commercial real estate technology company in New York. CEO Brandon Weber started the company with two partners just two years ago.

"In the last 18 months alone, we've added 50 jobs just here in New York," said Weber.

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Brandon Weber, CEO of Hightower
CBS News

They are jobs that typically pay well, in the upper five figures, and Weber says the pace of hiring is accelerating, though he admits it's a function of his ability to find the right people.

"Good jobs are back," according to a new study out of Georgetown University. Of 6.6 million jobs added in the recovery, the study found, 2.9 million or 44 percent, are "good jobs" that pay more than $53,000 annually, most with benefits.

Almost all of these jobs have gone to college graduates.

"I started applying for jobs in January of my senior year," said Bianca Soliz. "I probably applied to 50 positions."

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Bianca Soliz
CBS News

After graduating college two years ago, Bianca Soliz, 23, found work as a paralegal, before moving to customer relations at Hightower in January.

"I'm actually making more here at Hightower," Soliz said. "The perks are great."

Across the country, the number of people forced to take part-time work has also been dropping by 740,000 over the past year.

"I think the fact that we are starting to shift to a greater share of full-time workers means that businesses perhaps are feeling a little bit more confident," said Michelle Mayer, an economist with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "I think we're seeing an environment where the labor market is improving. It's showing continued tightening. That's quite encouraging."

But has it improved enough for the Federal Reserve to begin raising interest rates when it meets the week after next? The Fed wants to start hiking but the stock market's continuing volatility could force the Fed to wait a little longer.

  • Anthony Mason

    CBS News senior business and economics correspondent; Co-host, "CBS This Morning: Saturday"