MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, October 8th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.
Coming next on The World and Everything in It, the Monday Moneybeat.
Up first today, the best job market since Richard Nixon was president. On Friday, the Labor Department released its employment report for September: 134,000 new jobs added and the unemployment rate hit a low level not seen since 1969, 3.7 percent.
It kept alive an eight-year streak: jobs have been growing each month since October of 2010. Since that time, employers have added nearly 20 million jobs and that more than wipes out the job losses of the Great Recession.
Job growth has accelerated this year. So far, the 2018 average has topped 200,000 per month. That compares with 182,000 a month in 2017. Average hourly pay is up, too. In September, it rose 2.8 percent year over year.
The jobless rate for prime-age workers — meaning those between 25 and 54 years old — is the lowest since December 2000. And employment for Americans of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity hit a record low of 4.5 percent. That matches a record set in July.
REICHARD: Here’s another report that suggests GDP, gross domestic product, is on target for the most solid year in 13 years: Consumer borrowing rose in August. The Federal Reserve reported that it grew particularly in the category of student loans and loans for cars. The consumer debt number is closely watched for signals it sends about household spending. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of GDP.
EICHER: Despite President Trump’s trade sanctions, Americans continued buying imported goods. The Commerce Department reported the so-called trade deficit rose for the third straight month in August. Higher spending on cellphones and cars from abroad outpaced American exports. And the trade-deficit figure rose to $53.2 billion — the highest it’s been since February.
REICHARD: On the strong economic news, Wall Street beat a retreat and all four major stock indexes lost ground on the week. Investor concern about the pace of interest-rate increases drove some of it. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index of stocks fell 1 percent, the Dow Jones Industrials one-tenth of a percent. The Nasdaq plunged 3.2 percent for the week and the smaller-company index, the Russell 2000, fell even further, 3.8 percent.
EICHER: And last: After contentious trading negotiations, a sign of free trade to come. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in Detroit. The two celebrated a groundbreaking for a new six-lane bridge over the Detroit River that will connect Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. This corridor is now the busiest commercial land crossing on the U.S.-Canada border. It handles more than 30 percent of truck-hauled trade between the countries. The bridge is slated to open in 2024 and they’ll call it the Gordie Howe International Bridge. It’s named for the Canadian pro-hockey great who won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings.
And that’s today’s Monday Moneybeat.