Unemployment Is Now at a 50-Year Low

Falls to 3.6% in strong new jobs report
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 3, 2019 7:51 AM CDT
Unemployment Is Now at a 50-Year Low
In this 2018 file photo, a job applicant looks at job listings for the Riverside Hotel at a job fair hosted by Job News South Florida, in Sunrise, Fla.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

(Newser) – The monthly jobs report is out, and it's another strong one. Employers added 263,000 jobs in April, solidly above expectations of about 181,000, per the AP. What's more, the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.6% from 3.8% and is now the lowest it has been since December 1969, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, that drop partly reflected an increase in the number of Americans who stopped looking for work. One slightly offbeat note: Average hourly raises grew only 0.2% from the previous month, a bit below below expectations of 0.3%. It's "another sign that inflation isn't quite picking up the way that Federal Reserve officials had anticipated last year," writes Akane Otani for the Journal.

"This is another loud and clear signal that the economy is in really good shape. Jobs—check, wages—check, earnings—check, and tame inflation—check," Mike Loewengart of Etrade tells the Journal. "We’re getting to a point where it’s hard to find something to be concerned about." April's figures show that solid economic growth is still encouraging robust hiring, nearly a decade into the economy's recovery from the Great Recession. The expansion is set to become the longest in history in July. Businesses say they are struggling to find workers, but have taken a range of steps to fill jobs, including training more entry-level workers, loosening educational requirements, and raising pay. (Read more jobs report stories.)

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