Unemployment Rate at Lowest Since 1969

In September, the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent, the lowest it’s been since 1969. President Trump quickly celebrated the Labor Department report, posting on Twitter and predicting that the rate will go even lower.

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The Raw Numbers

For September, the unemployment rate fell from 3.9 to 3.7 percent, which as we said is the lowest in almost 50 years. While economists had predicted 185,000 added jobs for September, the results came in low at 134,000. Don’t panic. There is a perfectly valid reason for that, though.

Hurricane Florence

September’s numbers were down for added jobs, however, most likely due to the effects of Hurricane Florence. The destructive hurricane, which hit the Carolinas, probably kept business from hiring new workers. Retail, leisure and hospitality saw the weakest numbers in hiring.

The September drop caused the Dow Jones industrial average to fall, but experts see it as a temporary problem.

Wages

There seems to be general consensus among economists that wages should be growing faster since competition for workers has increased. The annual pay for average workers increased a mere 2.8 percent over the past year.

Tax Cuts

While the unemployment rate has been steadily dropping since the Great Recession in 2009, where it peaked at 10 percent, the recent GOP tax cuts have contributed to keeping the momentum going.

The Future

One analyst with Moody’s Analytics said that a private survey found that 230,000 jobs were added last month and at the current pace of job creation, unemployment could hit 3 percent even around this time in 2019. This lines up with President Trump’s promise to drive the unemployment rate even lower.