United States unemployment rates continue to decline, down to 4.4% in April. New hiring data released at the end of last week shows that the U.S. economy continued to add jobs for the 79th month in a row.
The unemployment rate in the country is at its lowest level in 10 years, as the country added 211,000 non-farm jobs in April.
The data, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, points to a 0.1% decline in unemployment. Economists called for less job growth, just 185,000, and a rise in unemployment to 4.6% in April. Social assistance, healthcare and hospitality all led the growth, with the hospitality and leisure sector account for 55,000 new jobs.
Healthcare and social services saw an increase of 37,000 jobs in April, with healthcare adding 20,000 jobs.
Professional and business services added 39,000 jobs during the last month, with accounting and bookkeeping jobs increasing by 5,200.
Accountants remain in high demand, with professional services continuing to add jobs. Robust growth in auditing, financial analysis and financial planner positions are reported.
Wages rose 2.5% last month, with accounting salaries expected to rise by 2.8%.
The U-6 figure is also down from 8.9% to 8.6% on the month. The figure is a representation of the real unemployment rate. Retiring baby boomers are helping to keep participation rates in the labor force steady, allowing for younger generations to enter the market without the participation rate changing.
Analysts agree that the job report indicates a healthy labor market. Economists are encouraged by fewer people being required to work part-time jobs. The number of people working part-time dropped significantly from 5.5 million to 5.27 million, a decline of 281,000 jobs. Economists view the decline as fewer people needing to work part-time because full-time positions aren’t available.
Economists expect wages to rise as the market continues to contract with lower unemployment rates. Higher wages will increase competition for talent, which is a good sign for workers.
February’s job growth figures are being revised up from 219,000 to 232,000 jobs added on the month. March’s job growth was revised down from 98,000 jobs added to 79,000 jobs added on the month.
Economists question whether or not the unemployment rate can sustain such low levels before crashing. Levels for unemployment in 2004 and 2005 were 4.4% and 4.5% before the market crashed and unemployment levels rose.
Private hourly earnings for all private, nonfarm payrolls, rose $0.07 per hour on average in April.
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