Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Unemployment Rate Edges Down After 6 Months At 4.1%

This year the economy has added an average of 202,000 jobs each month This year the economy has added an average of 202,000 jobs each month
Cristina Norman | 06 May, 2018, 00:02

Almost nine years into the recovery, the job market keeps delivering: The government said Friday that employers added 164,000 jobs in April - the 91st straight month of hiring growth, the longest such streak on record.

The unemployment rate hit 3.9 percent in April, breaking below 4 percent for the first time since December 2000.

"The populations that are filling those jobs will tell us something about what we should expect in terms of wage growth", Barrera said.

"Because Jobs in the US are doing so well, Americans receiving unemployment aid is the lowest since 1973". He notes that employers are having an increasingly hard time finding qualified workers, creating pressure for them to raise wages. Consumers are also benefiting from higher after-tax income, which grew last month at the fastest pace in a year, aided by the tax cuts.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 5.0 million in April. Average hourly earnings increased by 2.6 percent over the year.

"Factory orders have climbed in seven of the past eight months, and equipment spending, as reported in the gross domestic product report, has been supportive of topline growth in each of the past six quarters", said Tim Quinlan, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000 in April, compared with an average monthly gain of 191,000 over the prior 12 months.

Average hourly wages ticked up 4 cents in April.

"A slight uptick in wages and flat unemployment, combined with the strongest inflation numbers in 17 months released earlier this week, are paving the way for the Fed to hike rates next month". Employment in manufacturing increased by 24,000 in April.

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs declined by 188,000 in April to 3.0 million.

The mining sector added 8,000 jobs, extending its gains. Employment gains were broad-based across industries, with largest increases in business services, health care, education, construction and manufacturing.

The fall in the unemployment rate was also boosted by a drop in the labour force participation rate - the percentage of people who are now employed or in search of a job.

But it could force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more quickly than planned, a concern on Wall Street in recent months.

Manufacturers added 24,000 workers last month, a sign that possible tariffs on steel, aluminum and Chinese goods haven't altered hiring plans at most USA factories.

Even with the unemployment rate drifting further below Fed officials' estimates of levels sustainable in the long run, the report didn't indicate fresh upward pressure yet on wages and inflation.

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