The U.S. unemployment rate just fell to a 50-year low

The nation's unemployment rate retreats to 3.6% in April

In April, the U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs, rising from March’s 196,000, according to the latest Employment Situation Summary report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the report, the unemployment rate retreated to 3.6%. Overall, the number of unemployed persons declined by 387,000 to 5.8 million in April.

The jobless rates for men at 3.4%, whites at 3.1%, Hispanics at 4.2% and women at 3.1% all experienced a decrease. However, other groups, including teenagers at 13% and blacks at 6.7%, showed little or no change over the month.

Notably, the change in total non-farm payroll employment in February was revised to 56,000 jobs, up from 33,000. Additionally, the change for March was revised down from 196,000 to 189,000.

With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 16,000 more than previously reported.

The average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose six cents to $27.77. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 3.2%.

The majority of job gains in April can be attributed to an increase in jobs in professional and business services, health care, construction and social assistance.

Here are some of the areas that showed notable changes in April:

  • Employment in professional and business services increased 76,000
  • Employment in health care increased 27,000
  • Employment in construction increased by 33,000
  • Employment in social assistance increased by 26,000

The average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls inched backward 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours in April.

Mortgage Bankers Association Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni said once again, job growth was stronger than expected in April, and even with a weaker showing in February, there have been almost 170,000 jobs per month added over the past three months.

“With hiring so strong, the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since 1969, and wages continue to grow at a strong pace,” Fratantoni continued. “A healthy job market is the most important support for the housing market. With mortgage rates still low, more households may consider buying a home, which is great news for the housing market and overall economy.”

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