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U.S. unemployment falls to 10-year low

U.S. unemployment falls to 10-year low

A burst of hiring in April provided reassurance for the US economy after a slow start to the year: Job growth returned to a healthy pace.

That broader measure has been cited by President Donald Trump and his advisers as a more accurate gauge of the job market's health than the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate has now fallen 0.6 percentage points since the start of the year, with 854,000 fewer unemployed people, while average monthly job creation of 185,000 so far in 2017 is in line with last year's trend.

Analysts said the fall in jobless rate was unexpected, after a less-than-strong showing in March.

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Other labor market metrics continued to improve in March, with the U-6 rate - a measure of underemployment that includes those who have given up looking for work and who are employed part time but would like to be full time - falling to 8.6%, the lowest level seen since 2007. More specifically, the overall unemployment rate might seem artificially lower than it actually is if fewer USA citizens are working or actively looking for a job.

Canada s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.5 percent in April - the lowest it has been since 2008, the government statistical agency said Friday.

Seven provinces in total reported a decline in job growth, as Quebec (-3,800), Saskatchewan (-2,200), and New Brunswick (-2,000), were hit the hardest in April with the largest net losses in the country. In a healthy economy, we would expect to see wages growing at closer to 3.5 to 4 percent.

The stronger reading for the jobs market and the larger-than-expected drop in the jobless rate in April could help reassure the Fed to continue with its plan of raising interest rates twice more this year.

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On Friday morning before the jobs report was released, futures markets pointed to a 78.5 percent chance that central bank officials would lift interest rates when they next meet in June. Typically, employers are forced to pay more as they compete for a smaller pool of unemployed workers.

One reason for the tepid wage gain is that hiring was strongest last month in lower-paying industries. Officials at the United States central bank also viewed the pedestrian 0.7 percent annualised economic growth pace in the first quarter as likely 'transitory and expected economic activity to expand at a 'moderate pace.

Will more people look for work? "The American job machine returned to form in April", James Marple, senior economist at TD Economics, wrote in a note to clients.

Construction and manufacturing hiring likely led the anticipated acceleration in job growth last month.

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