The latest employment numbers are outstanding. Non-farm payrolls in April rose 263 thousand after increasing 189 thousand the month before. The private sector added 236 thousand new jobs while the government sector added 27 thousand vs. 10 thousand.
The unemployment number fell to 3.6% from 3.8% the month before to the lowest level in 49 years. Unemployment at the beginning of the great recession in 2010 stood at close to 10%. While employment has been doing well pay has not kept pace. Average hourly earnings rose 3.2%, same as in March. Average weekly hours worked dipped to 34.4 from 35.5. Importantly, the participation rate dipped to 62.8% from 63%. These are not good numbers and point to a much less enthusiastic May employment picture.
So far inflation has not been impacted by the exceptional jobs numbers, but it is early days and the inflation scourge will surely make itself felt later in the year.
Meanwhile, the Fed remains on the sidelines despite pressure from the Whitehouse to lower rates and inject liquidity.
The May number most likely will not be as great as the April numbers were, but it is unlikely that they will be bad. There is no indication that the economy is slowing down.