Ball State University economist Michael Hicks says the latest national jobs report, showing lower-than-expected growth of 103,000 new jobs in March, signals "very tight labor markets." He also says the effects of a "looming trade war" won’t be felt until later jobs reports.
The national unemployment rate stands at 4.1 percent for the sixth straight month. However, the Labor Department reports wage increases at 2.7 percent per year over the past 12 months. Hicks, the director of Ball State’s Center for business and Economic Research, says employers have added about 211,000 jobs per month over the past six months.
In February, Hicks said now is a good time to look for a new job or ask for a pay raise. He said job growth and tight labor markets have created an environment "that is among the most favorable for workers since the late 1990s."