US jobless rate drops below 4%, first time since 2000


The US’ headline unemployment rate fell to 3.9 per cent in April, the first time it has dropped below 4 per cent since 2000, the government said on Friday.


The current jobless rate in the US indicates a market with virtually full employment, though the creation of 164,000 new jobs was slightly below analysts’ expectations, Efe reported.


Economists had forecast that the US economy would create some 190,000 jobs in April, but even so, it was the 91st straight month to show increased employment in the US, the longest labor market growth streak on record.


The drop to 3.9 per cent comes after six consecutive months in which the employment rate remained stable at 4.1 per cent.


As for workers’ wages, on average they were up 4 cents an hour last month, the equivalent of 0.1 per cent or $26.84, and are expected to remain on the rise due to the continuing demand in the labor market.


The labor force participation rate, defined as the share of the population 16 years and older either working or seeking work, dropped minimally from 62.9 per cent to 62.8 per cent.


This report on a robust labor market raises expectations that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates, currently between 1.5 per cent and 1.75 per cent, at its next policy meeting in June.

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