It's been a frustration for many. A large number of retirees could make it hard to return to that point, but many economists believe there is still plenty of potential for growth.
Employers added about 164,000 jobs in April, up from last month's revised number of 135,000 jobs.
Unemployment dropped to 3.9 percent, the lowest rate since April 2000, after remaining stable at 4.1 percent since this past October.
In all, the number of people receiving aid dropped 77,000 to 1.26 million after April 21. Some have found only part-time work. Yet, the unemployment rate among black Americans was 6.6%. Average hourly earnings inched up just 4 cents in April and rose a very modest 2.6% over the past year. But strong wage growth could fan fears of an uptick in inflation, pushing them toward a fourth increase, Mr. Luzzetti said.
There has been an increase in reports of employers, especially in the construction and manufacturing sectors, struggling to find qualified workers.
"The moderation in job gains over the past two months may mark the beginning of the slow deceleration to a sustainable pace of job gains, which we estimate to be around or a little below 100,000 per month", said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan in NY.
Knutec, a company in Bradenton, Florida, that builds communication network systems, hopes to double its 19-person staff in the next 60 days to meet demand from customers. He said he's now competing against fast food restaurants that are offering workers roughly the same starting wage. However, that has failed to translate into higher wages, at least in a meaningful way.
The improvement in the job market didn't help everyone, however. But in the last few years, the economy has strengthened considerably, which the president has worked to improve on even more. More than half of that total - 127,000 jobs - was in medium-sized businesses of 50 to 499 workers, the company said.
Arizona lawmakers set stage for late-night budget debate
But Majority Leader John Allen, R-Scottsdale, said her proposal was not part of the official budget deal. At the same time, they made it clear they were dissatisfied with the final education budget.
The retail sector added 1,800 jobs.
For the past six months, the jobless rate had clung to 4.1 percent, the longest it has gone without budging since the late 1960s.
The trend reflects a decline in mass layoffs. These increases do not include the millions of bonuses received by American workers since the President's tax cuts. If that's the case, wage growth could take a leap in May.
For the past five months, on-site construction workers have been averaging year-over-year weekly earnings increases of almost +5.0%.
The Federal Reserve has set an annual inflation target of 2 percent.
Policymakers at the Federal Reserve, the United States central bank, watch the...
- "The April employment report delivered a downside surprise for payrolls and threw a wrench into the recent wage momentum story".
The Trump administration woke up to good news on Friday morning with the unemployment rate dropping to 3.9 percent, the lowest its been since 2000.
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