Unemployment Rate Edges Down After 6 Months At 4.1%

May 06, 2018, 05:13
Unemployment Rate Edges Down After 6 Months At 4.1%

The US has now added an average of 200,000 new jobs a month this year, continuing a record nine-year streak of month-on-month job gains.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising by 192,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate falling to 4.0 percent. He has reportedly been having "very good conversations" about the trade tensions. It only counts people as unemployed if they have looked for a job in the four weeks before the survey was conducted, leaving out people who have searched for work less recently or who have left the workforce for other reasons. The dollar pared losses against a basket of currencies and U.S. stock index futures trimmed losses.

Many employers though are struggling to find qualified workers in this tight labor market. Although there was an increase in wages, we would like to see more wage growth. Average hourly earnings increased by 2.6 percent over the year.

Kully Samra, UK managing director at Charles Schwab, said while the market had been expected better news, the overall trend was "still positive".

Workers also took more home in their paychecks due to federal tax cuts passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Job gains have averaged 208,000 over the last three months in nonfarm payroll employment.

Much of the economy's strength, for the moment, comes from the healthy job market. The increase in people earning paychecks has bolstered demand for housing, even though fewer properties are being listed for sale. The sector rebounded from a decline in March that may have been impacted by weather.

Some 236,000 United States workers left the workforce in April, which the Wall Street Journal suggests is the catalyst for the low unemployment headline number. Restaurants and hotels hired a net 18,000.

Barrera adds that there has not been a lot of movement when it comes to job turnover either which could negatively impact wages. That figure, which marks the 91st consecutive month of job growth in the country, reportedly fell short of the 193,000 jobs that Wall Street economists had predicted the economy would add in the month.

Average year-over-year hourly and weekly earnings for all US workers in April were +2.6% and +2.9% respectively.

"The populations that are filling those jobs will tell us something about what we should expect in terms of wage growth", Barrera said. That, together with a shortage of skilled workers, should put upward pressure on wages in the months ahead, economists say. April's low unemployment rate is getting a great deal of attention in the press since a rate below 4% is a rare phenomenon. That includes almost 800,000 jobs added since the President signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law.

Wage growth advanced by a modest 0.15%, or $0.04, in April compared with March. Consumer prices rose at a year-over-year pace of 2.4 percent in March, the sharpest annual increase in 12 months.

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

The home market, a critical component of the USA economy, has been a beneficiary of the steady job growth.

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