USA job growth slows but unemployment rate falls to 3.7%

08 October, 2018, 00:38 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Modal Trigger					
				AP

The U.S. jobless rate last month dropped to 3.7 percent in September - the lowest since 1969, though the economy added a lower-than-expected 134,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

There were fewer jobs, however, added to the US economy in September than analysts expected. department figures showed about 134,000 new jobs for September - well below the 185,000 anticipated by experts.

Hurricane Florence struck North and SC in the middle of September and closed thousands of businesses. "Wage growth, which picked up in the prior month, came in line with expectations with hourly earnings rising 0.3% on the month for an annual rate of 2.8%".

"That said, 134,000 jobs is far from a awful employment number and with August's being revised up by another 69,000, the labour market looks extremely healthy and provides further evidence of a booming economy".

This is the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.

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Employment data for July and August were also revised to show an additional 87,000 jobs were created than first reported.

The latest drop in the jobless rate puts it further below Fed estimates of levels sustainable in the long run.

For now, consumers, business executives and most economists remain optimistic.

Financial markets were down sharply in afternoon trading, with the Dow Jones average falling 202 points in afternoon trading. Job growth has averaged 208,000 per month so far in 2018, up from 182,000 per month past year.

Andrew Grantham, senior economist at CIBC described September's employment report as "solid", despite the weaker than expected headline number.

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The US unemployment rate fell to a 48-year low in September even after Hurricane Florence kept many Americans away from work. Wage growth entered this year at 2.9% in January and remained the same last month on a year-over-year basis. That category saw an 18 200 decrease in payrolls, according to the report.

"There is little in this report to stop the Fed continuing to raise interest rates gradually".

While surveys have shown manufacturers growing more concerned about an escalating trade war between the United States and China, it does not appear to have affected hiring. Health care and transportation and warehousing have also continued their strong gains, adding 26,000 and 24,000 jobs respectively in September.

Washington last month slapped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, with Beijing retaliating with duties on $60 billion worth of USA products.

This comes despite President Donald Trump's tariffs on goods from countries including China and those of the European Union. The trade gap increased 6.4 per cent to a six-month high of $53.2 billion in August, the Commerce Department reported on Friday.

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In addition, the GDP grew an estimated 4.2 percent in the second quarter, claims of unemployment insurance are the lowest since the 1960s, middle-class income is highest on record (adjusted for inflation), and small business optimism has hit one record after another since Trump's election.

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