US unemployment falls to 3.7 per cent - lowest since 1969

US unemployment falls to 3.7 per cent - lowest since 1969

US unemployment falls to 3.7 per cent - lowest since 1969

The unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in September, the lowest level since December 1969.

Newly released data by the Labor Department shows that USA employers added 134,000 jobs last month with hiring increases within construction, manufacturing and health care sectors. Most say it's a temporary dip, blaming the effects of Hurricane Florence, which battered and flooded the Carolinas in mid-September, during the time the jobs survey is conducted.

Among those worst affected were restaurants, hotels and casinos, which saw jobs lost for the first time since September 2017, when Hurricane Harvey hit.

Average hourly pay rose 2.8 percent from a year earlier, a moderate gain and one tick below the year-over-year increase in August.

Professional and business services remained the economy's strongest sector, with a cumulative 560,000 jobs added over the past year. But even then, unemployment only fell to 3.8 percent in April 2000.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 134 000 after a 270 000 gain the prior month that reflected a large upward revision, a Labor Department report showed Friday.

Washington last month slapped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, with Beijing retaliating with duties on $60bn worth of USA products.

"Businesses of all sizes are indicating they are doing whatever they can to keep their workers", said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania. On average, businesses added almost 200,000 jobs per month this year - well above the number needed to keep up with a growing population. "I would view this as a full-employment jobs report", Alan Krueger, a Princeton University economics professor and former head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under Barack Obama, said on Bloomberg Television. The unemployment rate is forecast falling 1/10th pt to 3.8%, an 18-year low 1st hit in May. The Fed is forecasting the economy will grow 3.1 percent this year - that's up from the 2.8 percent it projected in June. In 2018 so far, manufacturing has added 278,000 jobs.

Following Friday's release Michael Pearce, senior USA economist at Capital Economics, said the report is likely to affirm the Fed's plans to continue raising interest rates gradually, adding that wage is now on track to climb above 3% by the end of 2018. The next round of jobs data will come four days before Election Day, by which point most voters' minds may be made up.

In September, professional and business services grew by 54,000, transportation and warehousing jobs by almost 24,000, construction by 23,000, manufacturing by 18,000 and health care by almost 30,000.

The weakness in payrolls last month is not corroborated by other labor market data.

The US and China had already imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of each other's goods.

Despite the Trump administration's protectionist trade policy, the trade deficit continues to deteriorate.

Meanwhile, the United States trade deficit increased to a six-month high in August, up 6.4% to $53.2bn (£40.6bn). The unemployment rate for Hispanics has fallen to 4.5 percent, the lowest ever on record.

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