Daily Traders Edge

The 3.9% Unemployment Rate Doesn’t Mean A Tight Labor Market

May 07
10:20 2018

You have to go all the way back to December 2000 to find the last time the unemployment rate was as low as April’s 3.9%. But hold the standing ovation. The labor market isn’t as bright, or as tight, as it might seem.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the economy added 164,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment level dropped to 3.9%. It was 4.8% when President Trump took office.

Since Trump took office, the economy has added a total of 2.7 million jobs, and since his tax cuts took effect we’ve seen an average 200,000 new jobs each month. Initial jobless claims are at decades long lows as well.

That’s unquestionably good news.

The report also finds, however, that wages rose slightly less than expected in April — with hourly earnings climbing at a 2.6% annualized rate.

That’s led some economists to start “scratching their heads,” as one report put it, over why wages aren’t climbing faster in what appears to be an extremely tight labor market.

Continue Reading at Investors Business Daily

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