U.S. Unemployment Could Fall Further, Says Chicago Fed's Evans

By Brian Blackstone Features Dow Jones Newswires

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Wednesday that the fundamentals of the U.S. economy were strong, with wages starting to pick up, and that the ultra-low jobless rate could fall further.

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"Global growth has really solidified," which has helped the U.S. economy, Mr. Evans said at a Bloomberg conference in Zurich. "I suspect the wage story is improving."

The U.S. shed 33,000 jobs in September, the first loss in seven years. But the figure was largely dismissed by economists and financial markets because the jobs picture was distorted by Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas in late August, and Irma, which hit Florida in early September.

Other aspects of the report suggested underlying strength in the economy. The jobless rate was 4.2% in September, the lowest since 2001. Average hourly wages increased 2.9% from their year-earlier level.

Mr. Evans said his estimate for the natural rate of unemployment for the U.S. economy was around 4.5%, but added that the jobless rate could fall further from its current level

Write to Brian Blackstone at brian.blackstone@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 11, 2017 07:58 ET (11:58 GMT)