April Jobs Numbers Better Than Expected

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs in April, better that the projections of economists. In addition, revised employment numbers for February and March showed that 114,000 more jobs were added over those two months than had previously been reported.

The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 7.5 percent, down 0.4 percentage points since January but still well above the pre-recession rate of 4.5 percent.

However, the civilian labor force participation rate remains weak; at just 63.3 percent, it was unchanged over the month and represents a low not previously seen since May 1979. The employment-population ratio, 58.6 percent, was about unchanged over the month and has shown little movement, on net, over the past year.

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11.7 million workers are unemployed, essentially unchanged over the month.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women (6.7 percent) declined in April, while the rates for adult men (7.1 percent), teenagers (24.1 percent), whites (6.7 percent), blacks (13.2 percent), and Hispanics (9.0 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.1 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

In April, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 258,000 to 4.4 million; their share of the unemployed declined by 2.2 percentage points to 37.4 percent. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 687,000, and their share has declined by 3.1 percentage points.

Professional and business services added 73,000 jobs in April and has added 587,000 jobs over the past year. In April, employment rose in temporary help services (+31,000), professional and technical services (+23,000), and management of companies (+7,000).

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places rose by 38,000 over the month. Job growth in the food services industry averaged 25,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

Retail trade employment increased by 29,000 in April. The industry added an average of 21,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months. In April, job growth occurred in general merchandise stores (+15,000) and in health and personal care stores (+5,000).

Health care added 19,000 jobs in April. Within the industry, employment rose in ambulatory health care services (+14,000). Over the prior 12 months, job growth in health care averaged 24,000 per month. In April, employment also continued its upward trend in social assistance (+7,000).

Employment changed little over the month in construction, with small offsetting movements in the residential and nonresidential components. Construction gained an average of 27,000 jobs per month over the prior 6 months. Manufacturing employment was unchanged in April.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.


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