Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Not since 1969: US regains ultra-low 3.7 percent unemployment

Everything You Need to Know About the September Jobs Report U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops To 3.7 Percent, Lowest In Nearly 50 Years
Lloyd Bates | 07 October, 2018, 18:16

Data for July was revised to show the trade deficit rising to US$50.0 billion, instead of the previously reported US$50.1 billion.

So far this year, the average number of jobs created each month is 16 percent higher than last year.

"Every month for the past year, the.wage data releases have continued to demonstrate that workers simply aren't getting ahead", Ryan Nunn and Jay Shambaugh of the Brookings Institute, a think tank, said in a report out this week.

The headline of today's employment report is the drop in the unemployment rate to 3.7%, the lowest rate since December 1969. With the unemployment rate so low, companies are facing intense pressure to boost pay to find the workers they need.

Many economists have forecast that Hurricane Florence, which flooded parts of North and SC last month, depressed September's job growth by roughly 30,000. It said it was impossible to quantify the net effect on employment.

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.

Geography, the skills gap, the opioid epidemic, more people going to college and a lack of family leave policies aimed at encouraging women to enter the labor force could all be contributing to the low rate.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a near 49-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength, which should continue to underpin economic growth.

The weakness in payrolls last month is not corroborated by other labor market data. The dollar .DXY was little changed against a basket of currencies, while stocks on Wall Street were trading lower.

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This is only the tenth month since 1970 that the unemployment rate has been recorded below four per cent, with five of these months occurring in 2018, it said.

Average earnings rose 8 cents, to $27.24 per hour last month.

Average hourly earnings rose at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in September, down from 2.9 percent in August.

Wages have grown 2.8 percent over the a year ago, down from last month's estimate of 2.9 percent.

Economists will also be eyeing the all-important wage figures, as a tightening US labor market has pushed pay higher. Amazon responded on Tuesday by raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Overall government payrolls increased by 13 000. Manufacturers expanded their payrolls by 18,000.

Details across industries showed construction payrolls rose by 23 000 and manufacturing added 18 000 jobs.

While surveys have shown manufacturers growing more concerned about an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China, that does not appear to have affected hiring. In fact, the Fed's latest survey of national business conditions reflected concerns about labour shortages that are extending into non-skilled occupations as much as about tariffs.

Washington last month slapped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, with Beijing retaliating with duties on $60bn worth of USA products. The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum as well as on roughly half of China's imports to the United States.

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