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May 4, 2018

U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to the Lowest Level in Nearly 18 Years in April

Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp analyzes the latest national jobs report


  • Today’s national employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an increase of 164,000 jobs in April, which continues tight labor market conditions. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, the lowest level since December 2000.
  • The positive indicators in the report are continued job growth across various sectors and diminishing labor-market slack among workers employed part-time who report wanting full-time work.
  • Wage growth was somewhat disappointing, though some sectors are seeing solid gains, particularly financial services, information, and construction. Nevertheless, some industries that have added relatively more jobs each month — such as education and health services, retail, and professional and business services — are seeing relatively slower wage growth. Overall, average hourly wages increased by 2.6 percent from a year ago.


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