Ball State University economist Mike Hicks is bullish on the latest national jobs report that shows the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.9 percent. "Employment revisions for February and March showed employment levels higher than first thought," Hicks says, "indicating a strong first quarter, maybe the strongest since the end of the Great Recession."
The unemployment rate in April is the lowest in 18 years. "With labor markets continuing their more than eight years of tightening, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent, well beneath the full employment level," added Hicks, who is director of Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research. "With 164,000 new jobs filled, total job creation was less robust than expected, but wages showed a 2.6 percent increase over the past 12 months, clearly outstripping inflation."
The last time the unemployment rate was lower, Hicks said, was December 2000.