Published: Mon, May 06, 2019
Markets | By Erika Turner

April Showers Means More Jobs for the Economy

April Showers Means More Jobs for the Economy

Worker productivity has jumped 2.4 percent over the past year, as measured by each worker's output of goods and services on the job, according to Department of Labor data released Thursday and reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Unemployment in the United States fell to its lowest level in almost 50 years last month, while earnings continued to grow. With the economy continuing its steady upward trajectory, a milestone was reached that has not been seen since 1969 - the headline unemployment rate fell to 3.6%.

Trump administration officials insisted that the job market's gains were a result of the president's tax cuts and deregulatory policies.

Compared to March, however, the increase in pay was only 0.2 percent, shy of forecasts.

President Donald Trump has also pressed the Federal Reserve to cut short-term interest rates because inflation remains low.

Trump says Mueller 'should not testify' before Congress
Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Mueller's report days later, and a redacted version of it on April 18. Some House Democrats pushed back against the president, saying Mueller will end up testifying one way or another.

"There is no denying this is a strong jobs report", said Joel Prakken, chief US economist at Macroeconomic Advisers. According to a U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta's Friday statement, the job market, wages, and unemployment rates are moving in the right direction. Would the April jobs numbers put a damper on things by underwhelming the markets?

Hiring was strong across most sectors with especially large gains in business services (76,000 jobs added), construction (33,000 jobs added) and health care (27,000 jobs added). It followed on the heels of another ISM survey this week showing factory activity hitting a 2-1/2-year low last month.

April's jobs report further illustrates that the American economy continues to roar ahead, lifting up American workers and bringing prosperity to communities across the Nation.

Last month's two-tenths of a percentage point drop in the unemployment rate from 3.8 % in March was because 490,000 people left the labor force in April, the most in 18 months. Average hourly pay rose 3.2 per cent from 12 months earlier, a healthy increase after years of stagnation in wages. While the expansion is poised to become the nation's longest on record at midyear, economists expect a deceleration this year even after a strong first quarter. The rate for Latinos dropped to 4.2%, a record low since 1973, when the government began tracking the data. Since 2007, the Asian-American unemployment rate did not go below 3 percent. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent. Analysts had expected the April number to grow by about 185,000.

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