Jobs Report Shows April Rebound, But Growth Is Still Slow

The latest jobs report shows that the United States economy added approximately 211,000 jobs in April.  The data, released Friday morning, indicates quite a strong rebound that is likely to calm all the negativity about slow growth. March, for example, only had about 98,000 new jobs, which is far lower than had been expected.

Specifically, the unemployment rate slid down to 4.4 percent. This, by the way, is the lowest level for the metric in about ten years.  In addition, though, average hourly earnings rose by 2.5 percent over the previous year, now at $26.19. This rate, though, is slightly slower than we have seen in months prior.

TD Economics senior economist James Marple comments, “The American job machine returned to form in April. The re-acceleration in jobs should assuage fears that economic growth is slowing in any meaningful way.”

Accordingly, economists had become more assured about new additions in the job market, with drops in the unemployment that were even bigger than originally anticipated.  Still, economists note that progress—in terms of a healthy economy—has not quite yet translated into major wage bumps for the majority of workers.  This is something economists had expected should have happened by now.

For example, George Washington University economist Tara Sinclair puts it like this: “Two hundred thousand for jobs growth is just such a huge number, you’d think we’d get to a point where employers have to raise wages, and we’re still not seeing it.”

All that put together, then, the US central bank—the Federal Reserve—cited that this slow-down was largely responsible for its decision not to change the interest rate. Indeed, the Federal Reserve has acknowledged that the economy may be expanding but it is slower than expected.

Perhaps even more interesting, racial disparities continue to thrive, even with the—albeit slowly—falling unemployment rate.  The unemployment, which of course measures people who are actively looking for work (but cannot find any) rests at about 3.8 percent among white job seekers and 3.2 percent among Asian job seekers, but nearly 8 percent among African American job seekers and about 5.2 percent among Hispanic job seekers.

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