Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest in a Decade

It's at 4.4%, with hiring stronger than expected
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2017 7:46 AM CDT
Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest in a Decade
In this July 2016 photo, people stand in line to register for a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

The latest jobs report might have President Trump tweet-boasting again. Employers added 211,000 jobs in April, more than expected, following a poor showing of just 79,000 in March. (The latter figure was revised downward from an already weak 98,000.) The unemployment rate, meanwhile, ticked down to 4.4% from 4.5%, the lowest point in a decade, reports the AP. The rate had been expected to hold steady or even rise a bit. The current figure means that the US is at or near what economists consider "full employment," notes the Wall Street Journal, meaning that pretty much anyone looking for a job could get one.

"This just adds to the perception that it's going to be easier and easier to find a job if you want one these days," an analyst at Fitch Ratings tells CNBC, adding that it should in theory lead to raises. "If it's easier for (workers) to get a job outside their company, they're more likely to push for higher wages." The latest report shows that there's room for that to happen. Average hourly wages rose 7 cents in April to $26.19, up 2.7% from last month and 2.5% over the last year. That's seen as solid, but not great—when an economy is in full swing, wages typically rise between 3% and 4%, notes MarketWatch. (More unemployment stories.)

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