What You Need to Know About the April Jobs Report

06 May, 2018, 14:29 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • US adds 164000 jobs in April, unemployment drops to 3.9 percent

U.S. President Donald Trump hailed the drop in unemployment, which had held steady at 4.1 percent for six months, and has taken credit for the robust economy, which has been a bright spot amid an unbroken string of political scandals.

However, franchise employment dropped 10,600 jobs in April, including a fall of 2,000 jobs in auto parts and dealers, ADP said.

The Labor Department outlined the gains in its latest jobs report Friday, which showed the number of unemployed Americans was 6.3 million. The economy has added jobs every month for seven and a half years, the longest streak on record.

Employment gains were broad-based across industries, with largest increases in business services, health care, education, construction and manufacturing. The so-called U6 rate includes people who can only find part-time work and those who've gotten so discouraged they recently stopped looking.

Despite the ultra-tight jobs market, wages for American workers still aren't rising rapidly.

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Average hourly wages ticked up 4 cents in April.

Overall, the unemployment rate remains at its lowest point since December 2000. Average hourly earnings rose 0.1 percent last month after a 0.2 percent gain in March. "The unemployment rate fell because you had people leaving the labor force", she added. The Federal Reserve has an annual inflation target of 2 percent, and investors expect the Fed to raise rates at least twice more this year, after an earlier rate hike in March, to keep inflation from climbing too far above that target.

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. Both the African-American unemployment rate and the Hispanic unemployment rate are at the lowest level ever recorded. They also report that claims-taking procedures in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands had still not returned to normal after the areas are still recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria previous year.

Mining employment increased by 8,000 jobs during the month, but employment was little changed in construction, retail and wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities and government, the BLS said. The average monthly gain has declined each year since 2014, but that's normal for an economy that's been in recovery for such an extended period. The idea is that lower unemployment means companies will have to start paying people higher wages as they compete over the dwindling supply of workers, which will then eat into their profits enough that they have to raise prices. "It would be more encouraging if the unemployment rate fell because more people got jobs", the report said.

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