Friday, 19 October, 2018


Unemployment rate drops to 3.7 percent - lowest since 1969

Workers at a construction site in Revere Pat Greenhouse Globe Staff Workers at a construction site in Revere
Conrad Doyle | 07 October, 2018, 18:14

The U-6, or underemployment rate, rose to 7.5% from 7.4%. September's unemployment rate has decreased or remained the same every year since it hit a high of 9.8 percent in 2009.

"For years now we have continued to cross fingers and say more substantial wage growth soon", said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com senior economic analyst. Almost 300,000 workers told the BLS that bad weather kept them away from their jobs, most likely in industries like hospitality in which they're paid only if they show up.

The Labor Department said it was "impossible to quantify" the hurricane's net effect on employment. North said the numbers indicate that employers are requiring the people they already have on their payrolls to work longer hours each week.

Most analysts blamed the slower pace of hiring last month on Florence, which struck North and SC and closed thousands of businesses. Wage growth entered this year at 2.9% in January and remained the same last month on a year-over-year basis.

(Kitco News) - Gold prices are holding relatively steady, hovering above the psychological level of $1,200 an ounce as the US labor market showed a mixed picture last month. And the unemployment rate could rise or - as other unemployed workers find jobs - stay the same. The August reading was the highest since February. September marked the third straight month of unemployment below 4 percent.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% from the prior month, matching estimates, following a downwardly revised 0.3% gain, the report showed. Overall government payrolls increased by 13 000.

"The momentum in the labor market remains strong and we expect the unemployment rate to continue to decline", said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in NY. Economists had penciled in some cooling in the year-over-year results, as a strong number for September 2017 wages presented a hard comparison. Households are saving almost 7 percent of their incomes - more than twice the savings rate before the recession.

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.

With unemployment so low, companies are facing intense pressure to raise pay to land workers. So any hourly workers who weren't paid during the survey period because Florence forced their employer to close temporarily wouldn't have been counted as employed during September.

Shipments of core capital goods, which are used to calculate business equipment spending in the gross domestic product report, dropped 0.2 percent in August instead of rising 0.1 percent as reported last month.

The number of unemployed people who have given up looking for jobs because they believe that none are available was the same as it was in September 2017. The employment- population ratio, another broad measure of labour-market health that central bankers like to watch, rose to 60.4% from 60.3%.

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