U.S. Economy Adds 115,000 Jobs In April; Unemployment At 8.1%

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Although the U.S. economy added 115,000 jobs in April, the unemployment rate remained virtually unchanged at 8.1 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics today. Employment increased in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care, but declined in transportation and warehousing.

According to the federal government, there are 12.5 million people counted as unemployed. Of those, 5.1 million are considered long-term unemployed because they have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

The labor force participation rate — the share of working-age people who are employed or actively seeking jobs — declined to a new low in April of 63.6 percent.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 62,000 in April. Since a recent low point in September 2009, employment in this industry has grown by 1.5 million. In April, employment in temporary help services edged up by 21,000. Employment grew in architectural and engineering services (+7,000) and in computer systems design and related services (+7,000).

Retail trade employment rose by 29,000 over the month. General merchandise stores added 21,000 jobs in April but has shown no definitive trend in recent months. Employment in building material and garden supply stores continued to trend up; the industry has added 19,000 jobs since December.

Health care continued to add jobs (+19,000) in April. Within the industry, employment in ambulatory health care services, which includes home health care and offices of physicians, rose by 15,000.

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up (+20,000) in April. Since February 2010, food services and drinking places has added 576,000 jobs.

Manufacturing employment continued to trend up (+16,000) in April, with job growth in fabricated metal products (+6,000) and machinery (+5,000). Since its most recent employment low in January 2010, manufacturing has added 489,000 jobs, largely in durable goods manufacturing.

Transportation and warehousing lost 17,000 jobs in April, with employment declines in transit and ground passenger transportation (-11,000) and in couriers and messengers (-7,000).

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and government changed little in April.

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