Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest in 18 Years, 2nd Lowest Since 1960s

US job market: even solid figures can be disappointing

"We would have liked to see more people getting jobs rather than people leaving", said Satyam Panday, senior economist at S&P Global Ratings.

Although some businesses say the lack of available talent thwarts their growth, the USA has experienced a steady hiring streak this year, adding an average of 202,000 new positions each month. Average hourly earnings rose 0.1 percent last month after a 0.2 percent gain in March.

Manufacturing added 24,000 jobs, up from a gain of 22,000 in March.

The increase in construction jobs was expected with the onset of warmer spring weather in much of the northern U.S. Still, of those 17,000 jobs, specialty trade contractors gained 11,000, nonresidential building grew 5,000, and residential building advanced almost 4,000.

"I thought the jobs report was very good".

The drop of two-tenths of a percentage point in the unemployment rate from 4.1 percent in March pushed it to a level last seen in December 2000 and within striking distance of the Fed's forecast of 3.8 percent by the end of this year. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), teenagers (12.9 percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), Asians (2.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.8 percent) showed little or no change over the month.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, slipped to 3.9% after holding at 4.1% for six months in a row.

The Federal Reserve is likely to view the stable rate of pay as a sign of support for its cautious strategy of raising USA interest rates. Both the African-American unemployment rate and the Hispanic unemployment rate are at the lowest level ever recorded.

"It's just not sustainable for average pay growth to be so low in a labor market this tight", said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at the jobs site Glassdoor. According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence is near an 18-year high. The 4-week MA for people applying for 1st-time unemployment benefits has reached its lowest mark since Y 1973. Now, a large part of that is because companies were reluctant to cut wages during the depths of the crisis because of how much that would have hurt morale, so they kept a lid on wages even after things started to improve.

The trend reflects a decline in mass layoffs. It stands to reason that wage growth will continue to accelerate as the untapped portion of the labor pool continues to evaporate.

Many companies expect the economy to keep expanding, especially after a dose of stimulus from tax cuts signed into law by President Trump that have also increased the federal budget deficit. Alternative measures of wage growth have shown it growing at a slow and steady pace, and inflation has already in fact risen back to the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target. The dollar pared losses against a basket of currencies and US stock index futures trimmed losses. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.

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