428,000 new jobs are added to the American workforce.
The U.S. economy added slightly more jobs than expected in April, despite rising inflation and expectations of a slowdown, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
On the inflation front, there was also some good news: the average hourly wage continued to rise, although at 0.3% for the month, it was below the 0.4% expected.
Nonfarm payrolls rose 428,000 in February, slightly more than the Dow Jones forecast of 400,000. The unemployment rate was 3.6%, slightly above the forecast of 3.5%. The April total was the same as the March amount, which had been reduced.
Year-over-year earnings rose 5.5%, about the same as March, but still below the pace of inflation.
Black unemployment showed a steady decline and fell again, to 5.9%, while Hispanic unemployment fell to 4.1% and Asian unemployment rose to 3.1%. The unemployment rate for people with disabilities fell to 8.3%, down 0.5 percentage points from March.
Another measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those in part-time jobs for economic reasons, sometimes referred to as the “real” unemployment rate, rose slightly to 7%.
“The labor market continues to move forward, driven by strong demand from employers. After just over two years of the pandemic, the labor market remains resilient and on track to return to pre-pandemic levels this summer,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at the Jobs Review site. Glassdoor. “However, the labor market is showing signs of cooling as it turns the corner and the recovery enters a new phase.”
The participation rate, a key measure of worker engagement, fell 0.2 percentage points for the month to 62.2%, the first monthly decline since March 2021 as the labor force contracted by 363,000. The level is of particular significance with a gap of about 5.6 million between vacancies and available workers.
“The demand for labor remains very strong; the problem is a shortage of available workers, and the drop in the labor force participation rate in April could add to wage pressures,” wrote PNC Chief Economist Gus Faucher. Leisure and hospitality again led employment growth, adding 78,000 jobs. The unemployment rate for the sector, which has been hardest hit by the Covid pandemic, plunged to 4.8%, its lowest since September 2019 after peaking at 39.3% in April 2020. The average hourly wage of the sector increased by 0.6% over the month and is up 11% compared to a year ago.
Other big gainers include manufacturing (55,000), transportation and warehousing (52,000), professional and business services (41,000), financial activities (35,000) and healthcare (34,000). ). Retail trade also posted solid growth, adding 29,000 people, led by gains in food and beverage stores. Some of the details in the report, however, weren’t as solid.
The household survey actually showed a drop of 353,000, leaving the level of 761,000 lower than it was in February 2020, just before the start of the pandemic. April marked the first monthly drop in the household survey since April 2020. Equity futures fell as Wall Street digested the data and government bond yields were mostly higher.
The report is unlikely to do much to divert the Federal Reserve from its current path of raising interest rates. The central bank announced on Wednesday that it would raise its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point in what will be an ongoing effort to stamp out price rises at their fastest pace in more than 40 years. “Overall, with labor market conditions still strong – including very rapid wage growth – we doubt the Fed will abandon its hawkish plans given the current weakness in equities,” said Paul Ashworth, US Chief Economist at Capital Economics. .
The job growth comes as the U.S. economy experiences its worst quarter of growth since the start of the pandemic and worker output for the first three months fell 7.5%, the biggest slowdown since 1947 and the second worst quarter on record. GDP was down 1.4% for the January to March period.
Summary of news:
- 428,000 new jobs are added to the American workforce.
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