Saturday, 6 May 2006

US economy adds 138,000 jobs in April

The US April jobs data as reported by Reuters:

U.S. employers added 138,000 jobs in April, far fewer than had been expected, while annual wages rose at the strongest rate in more than 4-1/2 years, a Labor Department report on Friday showed...

It revised March job growth down to 200,000 from 211,000 originally estimated and February down to 200,000 from 225,000.

The unemployment rate was unchanged from March at 4.7 percent...

Average hourly earnings rose 3.8 percent in the 12 months through April -- the stiffest year-over-year rise since a matching 3.8 percent pickup in August 2001.

That, together with the fact that hourly earnings in the month climbed 0.5 percent to $16.61, is likely to fan concerns about risks of wage-induced inflation...

The length of the average workweek increased to 33.9 hours in April after holding at 33.8 hours for the seven prior months. The department said April's workweek was the longest since September 2002...

Manufacturing employment increased by 19,000 in April -- the strongest for any month since May 2004 when 23,000 were hired -- after growing by a slim 1,000 in March. But the number of jobs at retailers contracted by 36,100 after growing in March by 23,300.

Bond and stock markets took the report positively, obviously focusing on the headline number, but hourly earnings and weekly hours were strong, so overall, the data actually provide a mixed picture and may not impress the Fed very much either way.

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