The U.S. economy continues a strong streak of employment growth. That’s good news for our state economy, as well. As we reported last month, Washington has one of the nation’s most robust state economies.
The New York Times reports on today’s employment news.
- The unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, the lowest rate since 2000 and a sign that the job market has become even more competitive. It had been 4.1 percent since October.
- 164,000 jobs were added last month.
- The Labor Department revised the job figures for February slightly downward, but revised the numbers for March sharply upward. The result was a net increase of 30,000 jobs, compared with previous estimates.
It was the seventh consecutive month with robust growth in hiring in the sector, averaging 26,571 per month over that time frame. As such, the latest jobs numbers confirm that the labor market has tightened significantly, with manufacturers increasing employment by a rather robust 19,000 per month on average since the end of 2016. That is quite a turnaround from the sluggish job growth experienced in 2016, and it is a sign that firms have continued to accelerate their hiring as the economic outlook has strengthened and demand and production have improved considerably.
Today’s report is very encouraging. Strong job growth in April shows that economic confidence remains high in the wake of historic, pro-growth tax reform. Moreover, manufacturers continue to invest, raise wages and hire more workers as they expand their businesses and plan for the future…
Along those lines, average weekly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in the manufacturing sector rose from $901.39 in March to $907.78 in April. That translated into a whopping 4.2 percent increase over the past 12 months, up from $871.10 in April 2017, which further illustrates the strength of the labor market right now.
The official report is here.