Good news, bad news, and great news on today’s jobs numbers. First the good:
U.S. job growth rebounded last month and the unemployment rate dropped to a near seven-year low of 5.4 percent, signs of a pick-up in economic momentum that could keep the Federal Reserve on track to hike interest rates this year.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 223,000 as gains in services sector jobs offset weakness in mining, the Labor Department said on Friday. The one-tenth of a percentage point decline in the unemployment rate to its lowest level since May 2008 came even as more people piled into the labor market.
Happy wiggling for all. But the bad:
But March payrolls were revised to show only 85,000 jobs created, the smallest since June 2012. That resulted in 39,000 fewer jobs added in February and March than previously reported.
Still, the employment report, which showed steady gains in hourly earnings, suggested underlying strength in the economy at the start of the second quarter after growth almost braked to a halt in the first three months of the year.
The unemployment rate for African Americans plummeted in April, dropping to 8.7% from 10.1%.
This is the first time the black unemployment rate has been below 10% since mid-2008.
It’s still, however, twice as high as the white unemployment rate, which fell to 4.4% from 4.9% in March.
And actually that “twice as high” rate has been that way for decades. It’s, you know, ample evidence of a structural problem in the US that existed long before Barack Obama ever took office, but getting black unemployment down to under 9% is actually really, really good.
Now if wage growth would finally start picking up…