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Pelosi's "Crumbs" Mean Lowest Unemployment Claims Since 1973
May 25 2018, 02:49 | Alonzo Simpson
U.S. Economy Added 164,000 Jobs in April Unemployment Fell to 3.9% The Associated Press by John Carney4 May 20180 4 May 2018 4 May 2018
The Labor Department revised figures for March, with employers adding 135,000 jobs in March - nearly 30,000 more than previously estimated. The biggest gains were in professional/business services (up 44,000 jobs) and trade/transportation/utilities (up 40,000 jobs), it said. Employment gains totaled 135,000 jobs in March and 324,000 in February.
But after weak hiring in March, April also underperformed, as economists had forecast a gain of 190,000 new jobs.
The April jobs report suggests that inflation may remain tame, which means the Fed might not raise rates more than three times this year. At the other end of the scale, the unemployment rate among Asian Americans was 2.8% last month. The number of people counted as out of the labor force swelled by 410,000 to 95.74 million. Economists used to think this happened at around 5 or 6 percent unemployment for no other reason than that sounded pretty low, but, well, it didn't.
"It's a Groundhog Day kind of employment report", said Michael Gapen, chief USA economist at Barclays PLC, referring to the film where actor Bill Murray's character must relive the same day over and over. U.S. Treasury yields were little changed after dropping to multi-week lows.
As the US economy continues to improve at an unexpected pace, Americans are spending their biweekly checks on $62-a-barrel crude oil, screenings of "Avengers: Infinity Wars", downloads of Drake's "God's Plan", and 13.5 million new PCs a quarter. The April jobs report, however, showed only modest wage pressures, with average hourly earnings up only 0.2 percent for the month, in line with analyst expectations. Some economists say that's because businesses are choosing to hire less educated or otherwise less "desirable" workers rather than offer more pay. The Employment Cost Index (ECI), widely viewed by policymakers and economists as one of the better measures of labor market slack, increased solidly in the first quarter. More employers, including blue-collar firms, are offering larger bonuses (which do not show up in the government's wage data). The unemployment rate for black workers, for example, has consistently hovered well above the rate for white workers, even as employers complain loudly about a labor shortage in sectors like construction and trucking.
The U.S. central bank on Wednesday left interest rates unchanged and said it expected annual inflation to run close to its "symmetric" 2 percent target over the medium term. Sluggish wage growth has been a persistent feature of the current recovery, with growth unable to break the 3 percent barrier.
The drop in the unemployment rate came amid another decline in the labour force participation rate to 62.8%, the lowest since January.
However, franchise employment dropped 10,600 jobs in April, including a fall of 2,000 jobs in auto parts and dealers, ADP said.