US jobs report: April continues growth as 263,000 jobs added

Economy has now added jobs every month for 103 months in a row as wages rose an annual rate of 3.2%

The US economy added 263,000 jobs in April, continuing an unprecedented run of jobs growth as the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, a near 50-year low.

The economy has now added jobs every month for 103 months in a row, the longest streak of job creation since records began. The unemployment rate is now the lowest it has been since December 1969.

Wages, which have long lagged behind the recovery in the job market, have also picked up. A tightening labor market should pressure employers to increase wages but until recently workers have not seen their pay rise. Now that appears to be changing. Wages rose at an annual rate of 3.2% in April, the ninth consecutive month of growth over 3%.

The news easily beat analysts’ expectations, they had predicted the US would add 190,000 jobs and the unemployment rate would remain steady at 3.8%.

Employers added an average of 205,000 jobs each month in the first four months of the year, a slowdown from the 223,000 jobs added each month, on average, last year but impressive given the tight labour market.

The news is a major boost for Donald Trump. Last month Goldman Sachs predicted that given the current economic climate Trump was “more likely to win a second term than the eventual Democratic candidate is to defeat him”.

“JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!” Trump tweeted on Friday.


“Jobs surge in April, unemployment rate falls to the lowest since 1969”

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019

There was some forewarning that Friday’s report from the Department of Labor would be better than expected. Private-sector employers hired 275,000 people in April, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday. The service sector accounted for most of the gains. The number was far higher than the 180,000 economists had expected. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said the latest report “overstate the economy’s strength, but they make the case that expansion continues on”.


Dominic Rushe

The GuardianTramp

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