A surge in US job growth and a fall in unemployment to a 49-year low signalled continued strengthening of the superpower’s economy.
President Donald Trump was swift to seize on the positive labour market results hailing “jobs, jobs, jobs” on his Twitter feed.
The strong economy, especially employment growth, could boost Mr Trump’s re-election hopes next year.
The tycoon has touted the economy as being one of the big successes of his first term in office.
The economy will mark a decade of expansion in July, the longest on record.
JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!
“Jobs surge in April, unemployment rate falls to the lowest since 1969” https://t.co/4DGpumMISf
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019
The Labour Department’s closely watched monthly employment report showed the unemployment rate of 3.6% – the lowest level since December 1969 – was because people left the labour force, indicating some slack in the jobs market remained.
At the same time, the number of new jobs increased by 263,000 jobs last month, compared to a forecast 185,000.
The figures come after the Federal Reserve’s decision this week to keep interest rates unchanged.
The chairman of the US central bank, Jerome Powell, described the economy and job growth as “a bit stronger than we anticipated” and inflation “somewhat weaker”.
Harm Bandholz, chief US economist at UniCredit Research in New York said: “Employment gains are strong enough to dispel any immediate concerns over the health of the economy, while wage gains are not strong enough to force the Federal Reserve’s hand to tighten the policy stance.”
Job growth is well above the roughly 100,000 needed per month to keep up with increase in the working-age population.