April Jobs Report: Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.9 Percent

April Jobs Report: Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.9 Percent

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 164,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported. Instead, it is when inflation starts to rise because businesses can not find enough workers.

The average monthly increase in total USA employment through the first one-third of this year has been +200,000. It was the seventh consecutive month with robust growth in hiring in the sector, averaging 26,571 per month over that time frame.

That pushed down the participation rate, or share of working-age people in the labor force, to 62.8% from 62.9% in the prior month.

Another month, another lackluster jobs number ...

Government payrolls fell 4,000 in April amid a decline in education employment at state governments. The labour-force participation rate - the percentage of people who are now employed or in search of a job - fell for the second straight month to 62.8 per cent. The rate dropped for high school graduates, college graduates and people with some college.

Even U-6, which rose above 17.0% in the Great Recession, has fallen to an astonishing degree. That measure stood at 7.8 percent in April.

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The drop in the unemployment rate may be partly explained by a contraction in the labour force (data showed that 236,000 Americans exited the labour force in April). Six versions of the unemployment rate appear in Table A-15 of the Employment Situation report. According to the report, "policymakers expected 'economic activity will expand at a moderate pace in the medium term and labor market conditions will remain strong'".

But Panday expects wages to pick up as the labor market tightens further, putting pressure on businesses to pay more to keep their workers and entice new ones. "That hasn't been done in a long time. we're at full employment".

The implications are being reveled in outbreaks of labor unrest over compensations levels. Over the past year, wages have come up by an average of 67 cents, or 2.6 percent.

Average hourly earnings have increased 2.6 percent from a year ago.

But after weak hiring in March, April also underperformed, as economists had forecast a gain of 190,000 new jobs. Claims of unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since 1969 in the week ending April 21. Job gains primarly occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, health care and mining. The biggest gains were in professional/business services (up 44,000 jobs) and trade/transportation/utilities (up 40,000 jobs), it said. The March total of jobs added was revised down from 241,000 to 228,000. Consumer prices rose at a year-over-year pace of 2.4 percent in March, the sharpest annual increase in 12 months.

Duncan also noted a continued uptick in construction jobs. "It's basically the same report we've had for the last five years, which in the past has been viewed unambiguously as good news".

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