The gains reflect an economy that has been steadily expanding for almost nine years.
UNITED STATES.- US. employers stepped up hiring modestly in April, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, evidence of the economy’s resilience amid the recent stock market chaos and anxieties about a possible trade war.
Job growth amounted to a de- cent 164,000 last month, up from an upwardly revised 135,000 in March, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate fell after having held at 4.1 percent for the prior six months largely because fewer people were searching for jobs.
The gains reflect an economy that has been steadily expanding for almost nine years, gradually putting more people to work after the country endured the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Many employers say it’s become difficult to find qualified workers. Even so, they haven’t significantly bumped up pay in most industries. Average hourly earnings rose 2.6 percent from a year ago.
The overall unemployment rate remained, as in recent months, the lowest since December 2000. The rate for African-Americans — 6.6 percent is the lowest on record since 1972. Many economists say the unemployment rate is now so low that wage growth should begin to climb this summer, since employers will face more pressure to boost pay in order to hire workers.