U.S. unemployment falls to 3.7 percent - lowest since 1969

U.S. unemployment falls to 3.7 percent - lowest since 1969

U.S. unemployment falls to 3.7 percent - lowest since 1969

The construction, transportation and health-care industries recorded some of the strongest hiring numbers in September, as the USA unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 49 years.

The low unemployment rate provided more evidence of a booming economy, which is now in a record eight-year streak of job gains.

The Labor Department says employers added just 134,000 jobs, the fewest in a year, though that figure was likely lowered by Hurricane Florence.

Professional and business services, which includes a variety of industries, had the most new hires last month with job gains of 54,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.

So far this year, the average number of jobs created each month is 16 percent higher than last year.

"It's perfectly reasonable for the market to take a pause, particularly when we've had such a strong run", he said. The unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.7 percent, the lowest level since December 1969 and one-tenth of a percentage point below expectations. The number of unemployed people in the USA shrank by 270,000 to 6 million.

Florence-related flooding and damage in North Carolina and SC was expected to influence the data, though on a smaller scale than the 2017 disruptions from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. "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.

Unemployment rates for other individual groups of workers stayed roughly the same from last month: 3.5 percent for Asian-Americans, 4.5 percent for Hispanics, 3.3 percent for women, and 12.8 percent for teenagers. So any hourly workers who weren't paid during the survey period because Florence forced their employer to close temporarily wouldn't have been counted as employed during September.

The good news does not necessarily mean that Americans are being paid better, however - the average hourly wage was up just 2.8% compared to the same time previous year.

Pay gains remain modest but are showing signs of accelerating.

Economists also noted that the initial September payrolls growth estimate tended to be revised higher.

U.S. Treasury prices fell, with the yield on the 30-year bond rising to a four-year high.

But, the unemployment rates for African-Americans and Hispanics were both near all-time lows, the report said.

Factory goods orders surged 2.3%, the largest increase since September 2017, boosted by a surge in demand for aircraft, after falling 0.5% in July. Pointing to the economy's health, the Fed last week raised its benchmark short-term rate and predicted that it would continue to tighten credit into 2020 to manage growth and inflation.

For now, consumers, business executives and most economists remain optimistic. The storm, which caused massive flooding, made landfall at the tail end of the survey week for payrolls. Manufacturers expanded their payrolls by 18,000.

Still, if the prime-age workers increasingly enter the job market, their numbers could expand the workforce a bit and help accelerate economic growth.

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 trade gap continues to widen despite the Trump administration's "America First" policies, which have led to a bitter trade war between the United States and China. In fact, the Fed's latest survey of national business conditions reflected concerns about labour shortages that are extending into non-skilled occupations as much as about tariffs.

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