U.S. Experiences Lowest Unemployment Rate Since 1969

Leaping to a job.

Leaping to a job.

The United States continues to make more jobs every year, and 2019 so far is no exception. By the end of April, unemployment hit a new low- the lowest it’s been in the past 49 years. April added over 260,000 new hires, exceeding the expectations of Wall Street and lowering the unemployment rate.

Making Jobs

Wall Street estimated that April would bring 190,000 new jobs to the economy, along with a 3.8 percent jobless rate, the same as March. Instead, April easily surpassed all expectations, adding 263,000 new hires the U.S. workforce and causing the unemployment rate to drop down to 3.6 percent.

The last time unemployment in the U.S. was this low was in December of 1969, when unemployment reached 3.5 percent, 49 years ago.

After this year’s rough start, mostly due to a partial government shutdown and a trade war between the U.S. and China, economists were concerned that 2019’s economy would not be meeting many expectations and instead would slowdown from the previous year’s growth. “With another strong employment report in April, we’ve gotten reassurance that the labor market is staying on a strong and steady course,” said Steve Rick, the chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group. “And with two consecutive months of solid job numbers between April and March, concerns from February’s drop have long faded from the rearview mirror.” [1]

Strengthening the Labor Force

April ended with the number of unemployed people down by over 350,000. Professional and business services managed to add 76,000 job openings in April and the construction industry showed its gradual growth by add 33,000 positions in April. That brings a total of 256,000 new jobs that have been created by construction in the past year.

“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, AllianceBernstein’s senior economist. “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 lows.” [2]


  1. ^Cox, Jeff. “Jobs surge in April, unemployment rate falls to the lowest since 1969.” CNBC, 3 May. 2019, www.cnbc.com/2019/05/03/nonfarm-payrolls-april-2019.html. (go back  ↩)
  2. ^Ungarino, Gina Heeb and Rebecca. “Jobs report crushes expectations, unemployment drops to 49-year low.” markets.businessinsider.com, 3 May. 2019, markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/nonfarm-payrolls-jobs-report-for-april-2019-2019-5-1028165473. (go back  ↩)

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