The economy just smashed through expectations again for the month of April, bringing the unemployment rate down to a near 50-year low:
CNBC – The U.S. jobs machine kept humming along in April, adding a robust 263,000 new hires while the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, the lowest in a generation, according to a Labor Department report Friday.
Nonfarm payroll growth easily beat Wall Street expectations of 190,000 and a 3.8% jobless rate.
Unemployment was last this low in December 1969 when it hit 3.5%. At a time when many economists see a tight labor market, big job growth continues as the economic expansion is just a few months away from being the longest in history.
While last month’s slump in the jobless rate came with strong increase in hiring, it also was helped along by a sharp decline in the labor force of 490,000. That brought the labor force participation rate down to 62.8%, exactly where it was a year ago.
A broader unemployment gauge that includes those who have quit looking for jobs as well as the underemployed held at 7.3%, where it has been since February.
I think the high point of this report is that job growth was very strong, strongly beating expectations.
The downside to the report is that nearly half a million people left the labor force. Why they left I don’t know, but as the report mentioned above, the reduction did contribute to the drop in the unemployment rate.
But overall the economic data is very positive:
April’s big increase comes amid a mostly positive backdrop of economic data.
GDP increased 3.2% during the first quarter, far exceeding expectations, while productivity during the quarter jumped 3.6% for its best gain in five years. Pending home sales rose 3.8% in March, providing some hope in the real estate market so long as rates are held in check.
Yesterday Trump had his highest approval rating on the economy yet. This should only push that number higher.