US unemployment falls to 3.7 percent

US unemployment falls to 3.7 percent

US unemployment falls to 3.7 percent

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.

The Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report today also showed a steady rise in wages, suggesting moderate inflation pressures.

The Labor Department said Hurricane Florence may have impacted jobs results, with leisure and hospitality employment down slightly after trending upwards over the last several months. 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. On average, businesses added almost 200,000 jobs per month this year - well above the number needed to keep up with a growing population.

"Despite billions of dollars in damages caused by Hurricane Florence, the storm should have minimal effect on payrolls, as most workers were paid during at least part of the survey period", said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.

US Military Cancels 300 Million USD Financial Aid to Pakistan. This is the lowest unemployment rate since December 1969.

The Trump administration says eliminating the trade deficit will put the economy on a sustainable path of faster growth, an argument that has been dismissed by many economists as flawed given constraints such as low productivity and slow population growth. That reversed the bulk of the increase from the prior week when claims were boosted by Hurricane Florence, which slammed North and SC in mid-September.

"No one at the Fed thinks unemployment near 3 percent is sustainable", Mr Shepherdson said.

The average workweek for all private employees was unchanged at 34.5 hours.


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 weakness in payrolls last month is not corroborated by other labor market data. Americans are confident about the economic outlook, buoyed by the job gains and signs of higher pay. While that's still lower than what economists would expect with a rock-bottom unemployment rate, it's an improvement from the 2.0 percent growth seen at the start of this year.

Many major employers announced pay increases in recent months, but those have yet to significantly move the needle nationally on average hourly earnings, which haven't topped 3 percent growth yet in this expansion.

Average hourly earnings rose 8 cents to $27.24, lowering the annual gain to 2.8 percent from a nine-year high of 2.9 percent in August.

Wage growth remains sufficient to keep inflation around the Fed's 2% target. Some companies are starting to boost wages - Amazon.com Inc. being among the latest to pledge raises - to attract or retain workers.

For now, consumers, business executives and most economists remain optimistic. "The standard measures just don't reflect those increases well, if at all".

Among those worst affected were restaurants, hotels and casinos, which saw jobs lost for the first time since September 2017, when Hurricane Harvey hit.

Retail payrolls dropped by 20,000 jobs last month, the figure also revealed. Manufacturers expanded their payrolls by 18,000. Professional and business services employment increased by 54,000 jobs last month and government payrolls rose 13,000.

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