Unemployment lowest in U.S. since 1969

08 October, 2018, 06:57 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • Modal Trigger					
				AP

BLS revisions added 87,000 more jobs for July and August.

But the banner result from August's jobs numbers was surely the record low jobless rate, which was driven lower by job gains among adult women.

Non-farm payrolls data showed that employers created 134,000 jobs last month, the least in a year and below economists' expectations of a gain of 185,000, although the labour department said that some of the weakness could reflect the impact of Hurricane Florence.

Applications fell to 202,000 during the week ended September 15, which was the lowest level since November 1969.

Wages outpaced inflation in September, although both the rate of wage growth and inflation have tapered off slightly in the last month.

One of the main factors in the dip in the vacancies was likely to be Hurricane Florence, which struck North and SC at the beginning of September, closing thousands of businesses.

"No-one at the Fed thinks unemployment near three percent is sustainable", Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said in a client note.

Payrolls are calculated from a survey of employers, which treats any worker who was not paid for any part of the pay period that includes the 12th of the month as unemployed.

The rate remained unchanged in September at 62.7 percent of eligible workers in the workforce, down from a pre-recession rate of 66 percent.




- The unemployment rate was 3.7 percent.

US financial markets were little moved by the report. At the same time, some measures showed the labor market may still have some room for further improvement. The unemployment rate is forecast falling one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.8 percent, an 18-year low first hit in May. So far this year, monthly job growth has averaged 208,000, compared with 182,000 last year.

Average hourly earnings rose 8 cents to $27.24, lowering the annual gain to 2.8 percent from a nine-year high of 2.9 percent in August. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 0.5 percentage point and 795,000, respectively.

Some economists say wage growth might be understated amid anecdotal evidence that worker shortages as a result of the tightening labor market were forcing companies to raise compensation. Online retail giant Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) announced this week that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for US employees starting in November.

For now, consumers, business executives and most economists remain optimistic. Overall government payrolls increased by 13 000. Hurricane Florence likely weighed on job growth in September 2018, just as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma weighed on job growth in September 2017.

Retailers had the worst month for hiring, as the sector lost 20,000 jobs.

Manufacturers, which are more dependent on foreign markets than other industries, added 18,000 jobs last month, a sign that President Donald Trump's trade fight with China and other countries is having little effect on hiring.

Friday's jobs report will probably keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise short-term interest rates, economists said, with another increase expected in December.

In September, professional and business services grew by 54,000, transportation and warehousing jobs by almost 24,000, construction by 23,000, manufacturing by 18,000 and health care by almost 30,000.

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