Economic Optimism

Economists are feeling cautiously optimistic following the release of the Employment Situation Summary by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Examining the month of April for economic health and well-being, the U.S. has, again, shown growth. April marked the 79th consecutive month of growth. This is the longest streak in history.


Take-aways:
  1. Earnings have risen. Average earnings rose in April by 7 cents per hour.
  2. In spite of the online retail boom, retailers added jobs this past month.
  3. Unemployment has lessened. The U.S. has been adding nearly 200,000 jobs per month, on average, for the past 79 months. The unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent. It has not been lower since May 2007.


Additionally, the labor force participation rate (LFPR) has fallen this April in line with a significant downward trend since 2010. The LFPR measures the share of the population that is either working or actively looking for work. However, this change may not necessarily be bad. A fall in the LFPR was expected as the “baby-boomer” generation aged into retirement.

Overall, things are looking up, but economists still anxiously wait to see what May will bring.
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Anna Graff

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