U.S. unemployment hits five-decade low as employers step up hiring, wages increase

“U.S. employers added a robust 263,000 jobs in April, suggesting that businesses have shrugged off earlier concerns that the economy might slow this year and now anticipate strong customer demand,” Christopher Rugaber reports for The Associated press. “The unemployment rate fell to a five-decade low of 3.6% from 3.8%, though that drop reflected a rise in the number of people who stopped looking for work. Average hourly pay rose 3.2% from 12 months earlier, a healthy increase that matched the increase in March.”

“‘The broader economy remains on solid footing, meaning that coming months will see continued job gains and faster wage growth,’ said Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp,” Rugaber reports. “Trump administration officials insisted that the job market’s gains were a result of the president’s tax cuts and deregulatory policies. ‘We have entered a very strong and durable prosperity cycle,’ said Larry Kudlow, director of the White House’s National Economic Council.”

“Stock investors welcomed Friday’s jobs data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 135 points, or 0.5%, in mid-day trading,” Rugaber reports. “American households have become more confident since the winter and are ramping up spending. Consumer spending surged in March by the most in nearly a decade. A likely factor is that steady job growth and solid wage increases have enlarged Americans’ paychecks. Businesses are also spending more freely. Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting capital goods jumped in March by the most in eight months. That suggested that companies were buying more computers, machinery and other equipment to keep up with growing customer demand.”

“The unemployment rate for women fell last month to 3.1%, the lowest point since 1953. The rate for Latinos dropped to 4.2%, a record low since 1973, when the government began tracking the data,” Rugaber reports. “For Asians, joblessness has matched a record low of 2.2%. And the unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars dropped to 1.7%, also a record low.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Rising wages, full employment, increased disposable personal income, and strong consumer spending are always good news for companies who sell coveted goods and services like Apple Inc.

In Q219, the Americas accounted for 25.6% of Apple revenue, by far the largest country/region (Europe: 13.05%, Greater China: 10.22%, Japan: 5.53%, Rest of Asia Pacific: 3.62%).

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