Unemployment Is Below 4 Percent for First Time Since 2000

Job seekers wait in line at a job fair at the Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater, Fla.

The unemployment rate has dipped below 4% for the first time since 2000.

Jason Furman, chair of President Obama's council of economic advisers, summed up the mixed messages in the report: "Unemployment of 3.9% is positively exciting".

Catherine Barrera, chief economist of the online job site ZipRecruiter said the following.

"The a year ago for the labor market has been really good", ZipRecruiter chief economist Cathy Barrera told InsideSources. Only the 1990s expansion was longer.

Factory jobs went up in April as "M$3 anufacturing firms added 24,000 workers to payrolls".

Still, 6.3 million people were counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work in April. In April, around 12.7% of unemployed Americans had voluntarily quit, as opposed to 14% or more back in 2000.

"The populations that are filling those jobs will tell us something about what we should expect in terms of wage growth", Barrera said.

At the moment, the Congressional Budget Office puts NAIRU at 4.6 percent, a little above the 3.9 percent unemployment rate. The last time it was lower than that was 1969. Also, the average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by four cents to $26.84.

In April, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 172,000 from a year earlier.

Although many employers now say it's hard to find qualified workers, they have yet to significantly bump up pay in most industries. Teachers unions in various states (e.g., Arizona) have been in the forefront of fights for higher wages, among other issues.

The wage growth number seemed unlikely to alarm Wall Street, which has been anxious in recent months about inflation.

Regardless of the exact number, unemployment has reached amazingly low levels thanks to continuous job growth since October 2010.

In April, employment in mining increased by 8,000, with most of the gain occurring in support activities for mining (+7,000).

The U.S. economy had a net gain of 164,000 jobs last month.

President Trump celebrated the report. "In the meantime, WITCH HUNT!" Heavy and civil engineering jobs, however, declined by 3,400 over the month.

  • Zachary Reyes