Unemployment hits 3.9%, lowest in 18 years

May 04 23:59 2018

The unemployment rate fell from 4.1 percent – for the first time in six months – to 3.9 percent. The economy added 164,000 jobs, which was the second consecutive sub-200,000 job month in a row.

Catherine Barrera, chief economist of the online job site ZipRecruiter said the following.

Meantime, a report from Thursday showed increased new factory orders in March, as they rose 1.6% from the month before, the same level it increased during February, according to the Commerce Department. Only the 1990s expansion was longer. Moreover, manufacturers continue to invest, raise wages and hire more workers as they expand their businesses and plan for the future.

“Vacant key roles are remaining unfilled, as it has become increasingly hard to attract external candidates to apply for openings”, he said.

The unemployment rate includes anyone 16 or older who is actively searching for work in its calculation, which means students, retirees and others not in the labor force are excluded.

But the data show the rate, which hit 6.6 percent last month, has been declining steadily since it peaked at almost 17 percent in March 2010 at the tail end of the Great Recession – compared to a high of nine percent for whites. If the unemployment rate is below this number, the economy is at full employment, businesses can not easily find workers, and inflation and wages typically rise.

But for much of the expansion, many people have felt left behind.

The US unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%. The national unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, the first sub-4% unemployment figure since 2000. The last time it was lower than that was 1969.

Hourly wages moved up by just 4 cents, to $26.84. That was slightly below what economists expected. The labor force contracted in April but grew by 1.3 million from a year earlier.

“The job market is getting competitive, and people are able to request higher wages”, he said. Wells Fargo predicted a 0.2% increase in April’s wages, which would keep the annual rate at about 2.7%.

Hiring gains in April were broad. For instance, employment in professional and business services increased by 54,000.

James Ingram, investment manager at MB Capital, added: “April was another miss, but not a massive one and with the upward revision to March’s anaemic figure, the impact on the U.S. economy has effectively netted itself out”. “The standard traditional measures like the unemployment rate, we’re not at an all-time low of course, but we’re very close to it”.

Taken from the Labor Department’s April hiring and unemployment report, the data provides the latest snapshot of the American economy, the new NYT noted. “3.9% Unemployment. 4% is Broken!” he said on Twitter.

The year-to-date total U.S.jobs gain has been +799,000.

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The U.S. economy added 164,000 non-farm jobs in April enough to lower the unemployment rate to 3.9 percent the lowest since 2000

Unemployment hits 3.9%, lowest in 18 years
 
 
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