From today’s New York Times:
The unemployment rate fell to a nearly five-decade low in September, punctuating a remarkable rebound in the ten years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers set off a global financial crisis.
The 134,000 jobs that employers added in September reflected the slowest pace of growth in a year, and the growth in wages cooled slightly from August.
But there is little evidence that those mildly disappointing figures suggest a broader slowdown. The report on Friday extended the current run of monthly job growth to eight straight years, double the previous record.
By nearly any measure, today’s labor market is the strongest since the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Job growth has repeatedly defied economists’ predictions of a slowdown. African-Americans, Latinos and members of other groups that often face discrimination are experiencing some of their lowest rates of joblessness on record.
“I view this as the strongest labor market in a generation,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at the career site Glassdoor. “These really are the good times.”
The current economic expansion is already one of the longest on record, and there is no sign that it is losing steam. Economic output last quarter increased at its fastest pace in four years, and the current quarter looks strong as well. Yields on United States government bonds have risen sharply in recent days, an indication that investors expect faster growth, and more inflation, in coming years.
Where is the wage growth?
For months, the one knock on the economy has been that strong hiring has not yet translated into robust pay gains for many workers. There are signs that that could finally be changing.
The 2.8 percent increase in average hourly earnings last month compared with a year earlier was down slightly from the 2.9 rate in August. But earnings growth has drifted upward in recent months, and other measures show stronger growth.
Workers at the bottom of the earnings ladder are seeing particularly strong growth: Amazon announced this week that it would raise the minimum wage for all of its employees in the United States to at least $15 an hour.
Read the complete article here.