Jobless Rate in U.S. at 2000 Low

The USA Today said in a report that the Labor Department's announcement on Friday, May 4, confirmed that the US's unemployment scenario bettered in April from what it was in March (4.1 per cent) and also there was a job gain of 164,000, yet the news was "actually a mixed bag". Employment gains totaled 135,000 jobs in March and 324,000 in February.

Economists interpreted symmetric to mean policymakers would not be too concerned with inflation overshooting the target.

Though that may soon change as employers seek to keep their workers by giving them higher wages. The dollar pared losses against a basket of currencies and USA stock index futures trimmed losses.

Sluggish wage growth and a slowdown in hiring threaten to undercut the Trump administration's argument that its $1.5 trillion income tax cut package, which came into effect in January and is highlighted by a sharp drop in the corporate income tax rate, would boost wages and hiring. It is the first time that the unemployment rate has dropped below 4% since 2000. But if you look at the average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers - the only numbers we have that go back to the last time unemployment was this low - you see a different story right now: stagnant wage growth no matter how low unemployment is.

After eight years of slow economic growth, America's economy has grown by 2.9 percent over the last four quarters, on its way to meeting President Trump's goal of 3 percent economic growth. "The outlook for rates is heavily dependent on expectations for inflation, which in term are influenced by wages".

The unemployment rate fell in April because the labor force shrank: 236,000 Americans who were either working or looking for work dropped out of the job market. That, together with a shortage of skilled workers, should put upward pressure on wages in the months ahead, economists say.

Another measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time positions for economic reasons fell to 7.8%, the lowest since July 2001. With this news, the economy has averaged 200,000 new jobs per month in 2018, and the monthly average this year is higher than the last two years.

The retail sector added 1,800 jobs.

Government payrolls fell 4,000 in April amid a decline in education employment at state governments. "Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 518,000 jobs", the BLS said. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy.

Information for this article was contributed by Jim Puzzanghera of the Los Angeles Times; by Josh Boak of The Associated Press; and by Katia Dmitrieva of Bloomberg News. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.


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