U.S. Economy Adds 165,000 Jobs in April

Jobless rate sits at 7.5%; March, February numbers revised upward.

A newly released report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 165,000 in April, with the increases for March and February revised upward, respectively. Despite the gains, the unemployment rate held steady at 7.5%.

Following are some highlights from the report:

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
six months. Manufacturing employment was unchanged in April. However, a newly released report from the Institute for Supply Management shows the manufacturing economy increased in April--the fifth consecutive month of growth. 

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

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.2 hour in April to 34.4 hours. Within manufacturing, the workweek decreased by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, and overtime declined
by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.

Beyond a positive April report, the Department of Labor announced total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from +268,000 to +332,000, and the change for March was revised from +88,000 to +138,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 114,000 higher than
previously reported. Over the prior 12 months, employment growth averaged 169,000 per month.

The complete April jobs report, which includes historical tables, is available online.


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