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Mornings with Maria panel on the September jobs report and the outlook for the USA job market.

The unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in September, a low not seen since 1969. The Trump administration tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports - along with China's retaliation against U.S. imports - took effect last month and has hit many consumer goods.

Consumers, business executives and most economists remain optimistic.

The unemployment rate for those with a high school degree and no college attendance hit 3.7 per cent, the lowest since April 2001.

"Just out: 3.7 per cent Unemployment is the lowest number since 1969", he tweeted.

If the rate keeps dropping, it will heighten two concerns: Has the economy soaked up almost all the people who want or are able to work? Due to the tight labor supply right now, Amazon's retail competitors-notably Walmart and Target, as well as department stores and delivery services-will face the pressure to match Amazon's pay level or provide other forms of incentives. Almost 300,000 workers told the BLS that bad weather kept them away from their jobs, most likely in industries like hospitality in which they're paid only if they show up. But it could also accelerate inflation, which would arouse concern at the Federal Reserve and among stock and bond investors. Over the course of this year, recruiters have been more open to job candidates they may before have overlooked, such as those with criminal histories.

Numerous dislocated people will probably return to work. And the rising presence of prime-age people in the job market has been offset by the steady retirements of older members of the vast baby boom generation.

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The U.S. trade deficit increased to a six-month high in August as exports dropped further amid declining soybean shipments and imports hit a record high, suggesting that trade could weigh on economic growth in the third quarter.

However, the number of jobs added was only 134,000, down from 270,000 in August.

The increase of part-time rather than full-time workers could be keeping the wages down. "If unemployment is low, it means more people are working". Average hourly earnings rose 2.8 percent over the year, slightly above the average over the past year but down from last month's increase.

Pay gains remain modest but are showing signs of accelerating. Retailers have begun scrambling to hire enough workers for what's expected to be a robust holiday shopping season. Weather-related absences and curtailments also took a toll on the tally of aggregate hours worked.

Average earnings grew 2.8 percent year-over-year. Most say it's a temporary dip, blaming the effects of Hurricane Florence, which battered and flooded the Carolinas in mid-September, during the time the jobs survey is conducted. In particular, hiring might have been constrained in construction and restaurants because the storm likely closed construction work sites and restaurants.

"The weaker gain in payrolls in September may partly reflect some hit from Hurricane Florence", said Michael Pearce, senior United States economist at Capital Economics in NY.


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