The American economy continued its winning ways in April. The number of jobs increased by 263,000, way ahead of the 190,000 predicted by economists polled by the Wall Street Journal. It’s also well above the 213,000 average for the last 12 months

And the unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent, down from 3.8 percent in March. That’s the lowest unemployment rate since December 1969, almost fifty years ago. Unemployment claims are also at their lowest level since 1969.

Job growth was especially strong in business and professional services, which added a whopping 76,000 jobs, and in construction, which added 33,000 jobs. Growth in manufacturing jobs, which had been robust in 2018, was a modest 4,000.

Wages increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent, well above the inflation rate of 2 percent, but with no signs of wage-driven inflation as of yet.

It has now been eight and a half years since there was a month with net job losses. The bull market on Wall Street is now the longest in history.  U.S. Steel has announced it will be spending $1.2 billion to upgrade its steel mills near Pittsburgh.

In short, the American economy could hardly be in better shape.