Jobs and Unemployment Rates

May 4

The U.S. economy added 164,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent — the lowest point since 2000, federal economists reported Friday.

The average hourly wage rose by 2.6 percent year-over-year, maintaining a slow pace of growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

President Trump celebrated the news in a tweet.

For the past six months, the jobless rate had clung to 4.1 percent, the longest it had gone without budging since the late 1960s. (The record to beat: nine months.) The streak defied the expectations of economists, who said the nation’s prolonged hiring blitz was bound to drive the figure down.

Women seemed to propel some of April’s drop. The share of unemployed female job seekers sank to 3.5 percent last month, down from 3.8 percent in March. Other worker groups — men (3.7 percent), whites (3.6 percent), blacks (6.6 percent), Hispanics (4.8 percent) — showed little to no change.

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