AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former Congressional Budget Office director who advised Senator John McCain’s Republican presidential campaign in 2008, noted, “The April
jobs report showed a labor market in the homestretch of recovery from the Great Recession,” adding, “This sets the Fed up for another rate hike in June.”
James Athey, senior investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management, said, “Since 2008, jobs have been one of the most important indicators we’ve been looking at.” But he said
that since the official jobless rate sank in March to its then-lowest point in 10 years, “headline job growth appears less and less important” compared with other factors like wage growth and the labor-force participation rate.
Though the official jobless rate dipped even lower, the labor participation rate fell slightly to 62.9 percent last month from 63 percent, a signal
that workers who had been sidelined are not being drawn back into the labor market.
“Health care employment since the beginning of the year is not the driver it once was,”
Ms. Swonk said, calling it a “residual of uncertainty regarding health care coverage.”
Outdated skills and the inability to move to a place where jobs are available may be preventing
some people who would like to work from getting back into the labor market.
Unemployment Rate at 10-Year Low as Hiring Grows and Wages Rise –
By PATRICIA COHENMAY 5, 2017
Job growth recovered in April, according to data released on Friday by the Labor Department,
providing a reassuring economic snapshot after weak numbers in March.