The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in its employment situation release this morning that +165k jobs were added in April. This is better than what economists expected for the month and better than March’s extremely upward revised figure of +138k, but still a fairly weak reading.
I’ll note that last month’s figures seem revised more than normal, particularly some of the figures by industry, which are drastically different from last month’s initial reading.
No single sector did extraordinarily poorly or exceptionally well this month relative to the month prior. Construction employment did swing down a bit, which is fitting given how much talk there was last month of an industry recovery, and retail trade bounced back from its March decline.
- Mining and Logging: -3k payrolls compared to +0k last month.
- Construction: -6k payrolls compared to +13k last month.
- Manufacturing: 0k payrolls compared to +2k last month.
- Wholesale Trade: +4.1k payrolls compared to +2.9k last month.
- Retail Trade: +29.3k payrolls compared to -3.9k last month.
- Transportation: +4.2k payrolls compared to -6.7k last month.
- Information Services: -9k payrolls compared to +2k last month.
- Financial Activities: +9k payrolls compared to +5k last month.
- Professional Services: +73k payrolls compared to +64k last month.
- Education: +28k payrolls compared to +46k last month.
- Leisure and Hospitality: +43k payrolls compared to +38k last month.
- Other Services: +4k payrolls compared to -8k last month.
- Government: -11k payrolls compared to -16k last month.
The unemployment rate (U-3) decreased to 7.5% from 7.6% in March, while the broader unemployment rate (U-6) ticked up to 13.9% from 13.8% in March.
The labor force participation rate was unchanged in April at 63.3%.
The employment-population ratio increased to 58.6% from 58.5% last month.
I will note again as I did last month that the current labor force participation rate is the lowest it has been since April of 1983.
The labor force participation rate among all men declined to 69.8% in April compared to 69.9% in March. The labor force participation rate among all women increased to 57.2% from 57.1% in March.
The labor force participation rate by age group:
- 16 to 19: 33.8% compared to 34.1% last month.
- 20 to 24: 70.9% compared to 70.1% last month.
- 25 to 54: 81.1% compared to 81.1% last month.
- 55+: 40.4% compared to 40.4% last month.
Among production and non-supervisory employees, average weekly hours worked decreased to 33.7 from 33.8 in March. Average hourly earnings ticked up to $20.06 from $20.04 last month, bringing average weekly earnings to $676.02 from $677.35 in March.
The average duration of unemployment increased in April to 36.5 weeks compared to 37.1 weeks in March.
I always include a longer time frame on this chart though to provide some context of just how bad this recession has been for the long-term unemployed. This is still the leading employment indicator that shows how “this time is different.”
Percent of unemployed by duration:
- Less than 5 weeks: 21.3% compared to 21.1% last month.
- 5 to 14 weeks: 24.5% compared to 24.4% last month.
- 15 to 26 weeks: 16.9% compared to 14.9% last month.
- 27 weeks and over: 37.4% compared to 39.6% last month.
The unemployment rate of age groups in April:
- 16 to 17: 27.3% compared to 27.1% last month.
- 18 to 19: 22.6% compared to 22.1% last month.
- 20 to 24: 13.1% compared to 13.3% last month.
- 25 to 34: 7.4% compared to 7.4% last month.
- 35 to 44: 5.8% compared to 6.0% last month.
- 45 to 54: 5.9% compared to 5.7% last month.
- 55+: 5.5% compared to 5.5% last month.
The unemployment rate for men increased to 7.7% from 7.6% in March. The unemployment rate for women also decreased significantly, moving to 7.3% from 7.6% last month.
The unemployment rate among all veterans in April was 6.2%, a healthy decline from March’s 7.1%.
The unemployment rate among male veterans decreased to 6.4% from 7.0% last month. The wildly volatile female veteran unemployment rate was 4.7%, down from the 8.0% it was last month.
Unemployment rates by race were little changed in April:
- White: 6.7% compared to 6.7% last month.
- Black: 13.2% compared to 13.3% last month.
- Asian: 5.0% compared to 5.0% last month.
- Hispanic: 9.2% compared to 9.2% last month.
Lastly are unemployment rates by education level. Most of this month’s bad news hit the least educated bracket:
- Less than a high school diploma: 11.6% compared to 11.1% last month.
- High school graduates: 7.4% from 7.6% last month.
- Some college or Associate degree: 6.4% from 6.4% last month.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher: 3.9% from 3.8% last month.
Full table with changes: