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US non-farm payrolls up by 263,000 in April

The US economy added 263,000 news jobs and the unemployment rate is at its lowest point in 50 years.

US employment figures continue to improve as non-farm payrolls grew by 263,000 in April. The US Labour Department reported that the unemployment rate is also down to 3.6%, the lowest point since 1969.

US non-farm payrolls:key figures

Professional and business services 76,000
Construction 33,000
Health Care 27,000
Financial 12,000

Where did non-farm payrolls grow in April?

Employment figures grew even more than March’s high employment numbers. Professional and business services had the most job creation, with 76,000 new positions. Construction also increased with 33,000 additional jobs. Healthcare positions jumped by 27,000 and financial jobs grew to add 12,000 new hires.

While those industries added jobs, retail jobs dropped by 12,000 jobs. There was also a downside to the manufacturing profession as factories only added 4000 new jobs.

Eric Winograd, AllianceBernstein’s senior economist, noted that the US economy is still robust despite monthly volatility.

‘Leaving aside month-to-month fluctuations, the labor market is still very strong, adding almost double the number of workers needed to keep pace with new entrants to the labor force in any given month,’ said Eric Winograd.

‘Wages may have been slightly tepid this month relative to expectations but are still growing at just about the highest rate this cycle, and the unemployment rate is at multi-generational low,’ added Winograd.

Will positive non-farm payrolls influence the Fed?

Though the job figures are positive, they may not be impressive enough to influence the Federal Reserve. Fed chair, Jerome Powell, noted that the US central bank won't change interest rates because of the strong US economy and low inflation. Powell noted that he had an optimistic view of the economy.

‘Our[the Fed’s] and my outlook is a positive one — is a healthy one — for the US economy for growth for the rest of this year,’ said Powell.

Despite critical tweets from US President, Donald Trump, and comments from US Vice President, Mike Pence, to lower interest rates, Powell said the Fed won’t let politicians affect the bank’s policy.

‘We are a nonpolitical institution. And that means we don't think about short-term political considerations. We don't discuss them, and we don't consider them in making our decisions, one way or the other,’ said Powell.

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Be ready to act on the next non-farm payrolls report

Explore the influence the non-farm payrolls report has on American markets ahead of the next release on 4 September 2020.

  • Which markets could be more volatile after the NFP report?
  • Why was the report introduced and what does it tell us?
  • Why is the report important for traders?

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