The U.S economy remains strong. In April, employers added a better-than-expected 263,000 nonfarming jobs — another sign that the nearly decade-old economic expansion shows no signs of slowing. In addition to this growth, unemployment fell from 3.8% in March to 3.6%, the lowest in almost 50 years.
Data from the Labor Department showed job gains in services, construction, health care and social; assistance.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that he has a positive and healthy outlook for the U.S. economy for the rest of the year.
Average wages rose at an annual rate of 3.2% which is strong. Workers’ productivity increased in the first quarter which helped employers keep their costs in check.
Powell said that he doesn’t see signs of overheating. Inflation has been below the Fed’s target of 2% but Fed policymakers opted not to lower interest rates at their meeting this week, despite pressure from President Trump.
One weak spot in the jobs report was manufacturing employment which just added 4,000 jobs in April compared to an average of 22,000 additional jobs a month in the 12 months before February. The manufacturing index showed a significant slowdown, although the factory sector continues to grow.
Powell said that “manufacturing has been weak” worldwide.