US job market: even solid figures can be disappointing | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 04.05.2018
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US job market: even solid figures can be disappointing

It's hard to please everyone. Although the US unemployment rate has dropped to a level not seen in over 17 years, analysts insisted the job market in the world's largest economy had underperformed in April.

Employers in the United States added a net 164,000 new positions in April, the government reported Friday.

Most of the new jobs were created in professional and business services, manufacturing, health care and mining, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics announced.

But analysts felt that after weak hiring in March, April also underperformed as economists had penciled in at least 190,000 new jobs.

The unemployment rate dropped to a fresh 17-year low of 3.9 percent. The fall in the jobless rate which had held steady for six months, was hailed by the White House which has taken credit for the robust health of the US economy.

Skilled labor hard to come by

The drop in the rate for April also meant that the total size of the labor force was not increasing, making it harder to find workers and potentially spurring inflation.

Economist Thomas Gitzel of VP Bank said the US labor market was in a healthy state. "More employment means more income — and more income supports private consumption and the real estate market," Gitzel commented.

"The Fed [US central bank] sees its own outlook confirmed and will argue once more that further interest rate hikes are absolutely justified."

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US jobs growth disappointing in March

hg/tr (dpa, AFP)

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