Friday, 19 October, 2018

Unemployment Rate Lowest Since 1969

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				AP Modal Trigger AP
Lindsey Cook | 08 October, 2018, 06:56

In a separate report on Thursday, the Commerce Department said new orders for USA -made goods recorded their biggest increase in almost a year in August.

One of the main factors in the dip in the vacancies was likely to be Hurricane Florence, which struck North and SC at the beginning of September, closing thousands of businesses.

Meanwhile, record imports drove the U.S. trade deficit up for the third straight month in August.

The good news is the previous two months' gains were revised up by a combined 87,000 jobs, boosting the monthly average for the past year to a robust 211,400 jobs.

As more slack is squeezed out of the labour market, economists expect annual wage growth to hit 3%. Americans from a wide range of demographic groups have benefited from the longest streak of hiring on record.

Jobs in professional and business services rose by 54,000 in September and has increased by 560,000 over the year.

Applications fell to 202,000 during the week ended September 15, which was the lowest level since November 1969. The FOMC will continue to gradually raise the fed funds rate in 2019 as the job market continues to tighten.

With September's increase below the 0.5% gain recorded during the same time last year, that lowered the annual increase in wages to 2.8% from 2.9% in August, which was the biggest rise in more than nine years. The Dow fell more than 200 points in mid-afternoon trading. Measures of consumer confidence are at or near their highest levels in 18 years.

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The report reinforced the view of Federal Reserve policymakers, who cited a strong job market when they announced they were increasing a benchmark interest rate - the third hike in a year.

"Businesses of all sizes are indicating they are doing whatever they can to keep their workers", said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.

Wages outpaced inflation in September, although both the rate of wage growth and inflation have tapered off slightly in the last month.

An Institute for Supply Management survey of manufacturers published on Tuesday showed factory activity retreated from a 14-year high in September. But the more-inclusive "underemployment" rate (technically U6), ticked up to 7.5% from 7.4%.

But for now, anticipating stronger growth - and perhaps higher inflation - investors have dumped bonds and forced up their yields. The Fed is forecasting the economy will grow 3.1 percent this year - that's up from the 2.8 percent it projected in June. Increasingly expensive houses, higher mortgage rates and a shortage of properties for sale are slowing purchases.

Teenagers, less-educated workers and disabled Americans have also made progress in recent months and anecdotal reports suggest that companies were becoming more willing to hire people with criminal records or to waive drug-testing requirements. Auto sales also have slumped. The decline in employment in the industry of leisure and hospitality can be attributed partially to the effects of Hurricane Florence.

The US and China had already imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of each other's goods. Before the official jobs report came out, economists had estimated that the number of jobs added for September would reach 185,000.

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