As we continue to see the number of jobs created in the US, the surprises come each month with the April new hires reporting 263,000 while the unemployment rated fell to 3.6% from the 3.8% previously. Average hourly earnings growth held at 3.2% over the past year, slightly below market forecasts of 3.3%. The most recent unemployment level was the lowest since December 1969 when it hit 3.5%.
This market continues to excite many in the banking industry who are studying the labor market – it continues to grow as more jobs are created than usual at this point in the economic cycle. The unemployment rate for Asians fell to 3.1% from 3.2%, the lowest in history. The level of unemployed people plunged by 387,000 in April, bringing the total level to 5.8 million. The number of health care employed 27,000 bringing the 12-month total to 404,000 while financial positions increased by 12,000 with totals 111,000 for the 12-month period. The US GDP reading of 3.2% during the first quarter, far exceeded expectations.
Pending home sales rose 3.8% in March, indicating the US housing market has reacted well to to stable interest rates. Finally, construction jobs were robust as this sector added 33,000 in April, bringing the total to 356,000 the new jobs created over the past year. Manufacturing only added 4,000 jobs – somewhat contrary to the narrative of President Trump.