Hiring Pace Quickens in April, Unemployment Slips Again

The economy seemed to rebound from some anemic numbers put up earlier this year, as the Labor Department stated on Friday that non-farm payrolls were up by 211,000 in April 2017. That’s month over month, and beats handily the 79,000 jobs added in March (the March number had itself been downwardly revised from 98,000 as had been originally reported).

In addition, the latest tally brings the pace above 200,000 jobs again on a monthly basis, which had been seen in the first two months of 2017.  After a few months of declines, retailers added positions in the latest findings, and government jobs were also filled.

The 211,000 reported is better than the 188,000 new jobs and unemployment rate of 4.6 percent that had been expected by a consensus survey of economists.

The unemployment rate in April came down to 4.4 percent from 4.5 percent.  This latest percentage is the lowest seen in a decade, and as The Wall Street Journal noted, the twin engines of low unemployment (though as the financial publication reported, labor force participation is lower than in has been in the past, at just under 63 percent) and hiring may lead to interest rate increases in the next year.

Looking at wages, average hourly earnings in the private sector were up 2.5 percent in April year over year.  The gains reflect the impact of low unemployment, where firms joust for workers amid small pools of available talent.

Looking at the economy as a whole, the first quarter showed overall  gains below one percent to roughly 70 basis points.  The year itself, according to economists, should show growth of as much as two percent.


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