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Jobless rate falls to 50-year low as economy retains growth momentum

The US labor market has been buoyant for quite some time, and the latest statistics indicate that the economic recovery will continue this year. The steady job growth, along with the positive momentum in overall economic activity, could allay the concerns that recent political and economic challenges might stall growth.

Data published by the Labor Department Friday revealed that unemployment rate dipped to $3.6% in April, which is the lowest number in nearly 50 years, as American businesses added around 236,000 jobs. That is well above the number forecast by economists. The labor market conditions improved consistently over the past several years, all along generating fresh employment.

Sectors that witnessed the strongest job growth are construction, healthcare, and business services. Meanwhile, there is no denying the fact that the manufacturing sector is still under pressure from geopolitical issues such as the trade war, and lagged behind the other sectors in job creation.

The labor market conditions improved consistently over the past eight-and-half years, all along generating fresh employment

Experts believe that it is a ‘full employment’ scenario wherein there are as many job vacancies to accommodate all the unemployed persons. However, that remains a far-fetched possibility due to practical reasons.

There has been a corresponding increase in hourly wages as companies relaxed their hiring policies to rope in the most talented among the job aspirants. In a way, the situation puts pressure on employers in terms of ensuring the availability of skill and paying high salaries. Average daily wages moved up 0.2% last month, slightly faster the 0.1% growth registered in March.

Also read: Feb retail sales dip as consumers cut spending

The latest data could put to rest the apprehension raised by some quarters that the economy is on the verge of a slowdown, citing the weakness in the global economy, the trade dispute with China and Brexit-like uncertainties in Europe. The intense volatility the financial markets witnessed towards the end of last year added to the worries.

The US economy expanded a stronger-than-expected 3.2% in the first quarter, which according to economists is one of the biggest gains historically.

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