US jobs growth slowed in April, unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%

US jobs growth slowed in April. Employers added 164,000 jobs in April, lower than what economists had forecast of 190,000 new positions. The Labor Department revised figures for March, with employers adding 135,000 jobs in March – almost 30,000 more than previously estimated.

In the past three months the US has added an average of roughly 208,000 jobs.

The US unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%. It is the first time that the unemployment rate has dropped below 4% since 2000.

Average hourly pay in the private sector rose 2.6% year-on-year to $26.84 while the average hourly wage in the private sector increased by only 0.1% over the month. Some analysts warn that wage growth in the US remains relatively weak, suggesting that the US labor market may be less healthy than it appears.

April’s job gains was boosted by the manufacturing, health care and the professional and business services sector.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta issued the following statement regarding the April 2018 Employment Situation report:

“This is a great time to be a job seeker in America. Last month, the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, the lowest level in nearly 18 years. The unemployment rate for adult women was 3.5%, the lowest level since December 2000. Both the African-American unemployment rate and the Hispanic unemployment rate are at the lowest level ever recorded. In April, 164,000 jobs were added, including gains in goods-producing industries, such as manufacturing, mining and logging, and construction.

“America’s job creators are confident. Since President Trump’s election, nearly 3.2 million American jobs have been created. That includes nearly 800,000 jobs added since the President signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law.

“In April, the rise in average weekly earnings amounts to an annual increase of approximately $1,300 – a real boost for American families. These increases do not include the millions of bonuses received by American workers since the President’s tax cuts.  Although there was an increase in wages, we would like to see more wage growth.

“Although there is room for improvement in overall labor force participation, we are encouraged to see labor force participation among those between 25 and 54 years of age rebounding, having increased from 81.3% to 82.0% since the President’s election.  This means 900,000 prime-age Americans joined the workforce since November 2016.”