WASHINGTON, (AFP): The United States had another giant month of job creation in April, with strong hiring in the vast services sector and unemployment fell to a level not seen since 1969, the government reported Friday.
The blockbuster report will help allay fears of a slowing economy and cheer President Donald Trump as he seeks reelection next year.
Employers scooped up workers in construction, health care, computer systems design, administrative support and other industries, adding a total of 263,000 net new positions for the month.
That was well above the result economists expected, and worker pay continued to climb.
The jobless rate fell two tenths to 3.6 percent but the decline was in part because the pool of workers shrank and fewer people were looking for jobs, pulling them out of the labor force.
Average hourly pay also climbed 3.2 percent over April of last year, its ninth consecutive month with annual growth above three percent, again outstripping inflation and boosting purchasing power for American paychecks.
Compared to March, however, the increase in pay was only 0.2 percent, shy of forecasts.
Nevertheless, the brisk pace of hiring should dim hopes among investors that the Federal Reserve will feel pressure to cut interest rates in the near term.
Hiring in the manufacturing sector also was a weak spot, with durable goods employment flat and the auto sector continuing to shed jobs.
(The US economy had another blockbuster jobs increase, and wages are finally rising as well. Photo: AFP-JOE RAEDLE)
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