USA adds 263K jobs in April; unemployment hits 49-year low

Posted May 06, 2019

The manufacturing industry, a priority for President Donald Trump, failed to post a robust rebound in April following an anemic showing in March.

The U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in April while the unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent, making March the 103rd straight month of job growth, according to Department of Labor data released Friday. Even the average worker's salary increased by 6 cents to $27.77 per hour.

Hiring in the manufacturing sector also was a weak spot, with durable goods employment flat and the auto sector continuing to shed jobs.

US HIRING topped forecasts in April as the jobless rate dipped to a fresh 49-year low and wage gains were slightly cooler than projected, suggesting the still-healthy labour market can continue to support growth without fuelling inflation.

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Unemployment also fell to its lowest since the recession 10 years ago with a rate of 3.6 per cent, which was 0.2 per cent less than in March.

"That does explain why, despite a very low unemployment rate and modest gains in overall growth, the American public remains dissatisfied with where the economy is and where the country is", said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at the accounting firm RSM.

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The anticipated job gains in April would be close to the monthly average of 180,000 in the first quarter and well above the roughly 100,000 needed per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

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Professional and business services, which include IT networking jobs as well as accountants and engineers, led the gains with 76,000. The 12-month rate of hourly wage gains was unchanged at 3.2%. But with little sign of inflation, the Fed is on hold with no plans to change rates this year.

USA employers likely maintained a strong pace of hiring in April while steadily increasing wages for workers, pointing to solid economic growth and moderate inflation pressures.

A broader measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have given up searching and those working part-time because they can not find full-time employment, was unchanged at 7.3% in April. The U.S. Census Bureau has begun hiring for "hundreds of thousands" of positions.

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