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October 19 2017, 11:46 | Alonzo Simpson
Some evidence suggests that economic growth is rebounding in the current April-June quarter, with some economists forecasting that it could top a three per cent annual rate, compared with the first quarter's 0.7 rate. The jobless rates for adult women (4.1 percent), teenagers (14.7 percent), Whites (3.8 percent), Blacks (7.9 percent), Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (5.2 percent) showed little change. And initial jobless laims, a gauge of layoffs, returned to four-decade lows after edging up in March.
Furman added that he wasn't concerned about the labor force participation rate, pointing to baby boomers leaving the job marker due to retirement.
Still, the U.S. faces many key issues: millions of "prime age" Americans have left the job market and an unusually high number of workers have part-time jobs but want full-time jobs.
The economy added better than 200,000 jobs during the first two months of the year, but hiring eased in March. If that sounds unremarkable, or even boring, it's perhaps worth reflecting on why: The recovery in the USA job market has been remarkable for its durability and resilience.
Average hourly earnings rose 2.7% year-on-year, just below the post-recession record of 2.8% set in February. And there were important declines in adult male unemployment (4.3 to 4.0 percent) and the U-6 broadest measure in unemployment (8.9 to 8.6 percent), driven by a decline in those working part-time for economic reasons.
The consensus forecast of economists was for job growth of 185,000 and for a slight increase in unemployment.
The federal government continued to boost its head count in Ottawa-Gatineau, adding about 600 workers to bring the total number of federal employees in the region to 153,500.
1,900 jobs were created last month, 1,100 people joined the workforce while the number of people claiming unemployment dipped by 800. Job growth averaged 178,000 per month in the first quarter.
In April, average hourly earnings rose 7 cents to 26.19 US dollars, following a 5-cent increase in March.
At the same time, retailers are shedding jobs as more Americans shop online, a dynamic that Goldman says will drag down monthly job growth by an average 10,000 or so in the months ahead.
Earnings are rising a bit faster than inflation (which is running about 2 percent per year), and that's good news. While the BLS initially reported a paltry gain of 98,000 jobs, the figure has now been revised downward to 79,000. The mining sector gained 9,000 new jobs, having added 44,000 since October.