Unemployment still sticking it to Alaska economy

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With a reported 3.9-percent unemployment rate, April became one of six months in almost 40 years when the figure fell below 4 percent.

But the Labor Department, which released the latest jobs data Friday, revised its number jobs figures upwards for March. To more fully gauge the health of the job market, economists look at a broader measure of employment that looks at: The unemployed; people who want to work but have given up searching; and people working part-time who can't find full-time work.

In April, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 172,000 from a year earlier.

Wage gains were 0.1 per cent more than the prior month and 2.6 per cent higher year-on-year - lower than the 0.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent forecasts.

There's good reason to expect a further pickup in wage growth in coming months.

According to ADP, U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased in April by 241,000 jobs. The unemployment rate includes anyone 16 or older who is actively searching for work in its calculation, which means students, retirees and others not in the labor force are excluded.

While total construction employment has made great strides over the past seven years, it has still recovered only about three-quarters of its peak-to-trough decline experienced between 2008 and 2010.

In April, the number of private sector jobs rose by 168,000, while the number of government jobs slid by 4,000.

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Workers are also starting to see higher take-home pay, as lower withholdings due to Trump's tax cuts are kicking in.

The report indicates another month of solid job growth for an economy that has been expanding for nearly nine years - the second-longest streak on record.

But 236,000 people left the labour force in April, adding to the 158,000 who quit in March.

So while overall unemployment among American workers shrunk by 0.2 percentage points to 3.9 percent, Black folks looking for steady work stood at a staggering 6.6 percent.

Trump has made regulations and taxes critical components of his economic agenda. Eight years ago, the jobless rate was 10 percent. "Our takeaway from the report is that recent economic conditions support a gradual pace of monetary tightening".

Policymakers at the Federal Reserve, the United States central bank, watch the...

He said tightening labor markets argue that the current highly simulative monetary conditions of lower interest rates by the Federal Reserve are no longer warranted and the jobs report reinforces RBC's forecast that the fed funds rate range, now at 1.50% to 1.75%, will continue to be hiked by 25 basis points (0.25%) each quarter through next year, finishing 2019 at 3.25% to 3.50%.