US employers add 211,000 jobs, unemployment rate falls to 4.4%
Average paychecks grew more slowly, increasing 2.5% over the past 12 months.world Updated: May 05, 2017 19:18 IST
Hiring rebounded in April as US employers added 211,000 jobs, a sign the economy’s sluggish growth in the first three months of the year might prove temporary.
The US labour department said the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.4% from 4.5%, reaching its lowest level in a decade.
The figures suggest that businesses expect consumer demand to rebound after a lackluster showing in the first quarter, when Americans boosted their spending at the slowest pace in seven years.
Average paychecks grew more slowly, increasing 2.5% over the past 12 months. This is below March’s annual gain.
Typically, employers are forced to pay more as they compete for a smaller pool of unemployed workers. Hourly pay gains are usually closer to 3.5% in a strong economy.
So far this year, employers have added an average of 185,000 jobs a month, matching last year’s solid pace. It shows that so far the job market under President Donald Trump closely resembles the one Barack Obama presided over in 2016.
“The US job market is in solid shape,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services. Monthly job gains at the current pace should eventually help push up wages, Faucher added.