Market Remains Strong Amid Signs of Moderation in Hiring

Jobs Growth

The month of April saw the creation of 175,000 new jobs, dipping below the monthly average over the past 12 months of 242,000. 

Top Industries

The most significant gains in employment in April occurred in healthcare, social services, warehousing and transportation. 


The unemployment rate increased slightly in April, reaching 3.9% but maintaining a record of unemployment that has remained below 4.0% for more than two years. 


Following recent trends, compensation moved ahead but at a slower rate than in the previous month, with average hourly wages up by 0.2% in April and 3.9% for the past 12-month period. 

Work Week

The work week pulled back by 0.1 hour,  averaging 34.3 hours for the month of April.

Temporary Job Trends

The number of temporary jobs dropped in April, with the sector sustaining a loss of 16,400 jobs. 

What Does It All Mean?

Hiring activity in April, while decidedly below expectations, was still healthy enough to propel a strong jobs market. Unemployment remains below 4.0%. Compensation growth, while dipping slightly, remains solid. The numbers are reminiscent of the pace of job creation that was more typical a few years ago.

Of note, the slight change in the unemployment rate reported this past month showed an interesting shift in white-collar versus blue-collar occupations. Specifically, unemployment was higher among professional and business services roles, as compared with manufacturing jobs. This may bode well for a resurgence in manufacturing.

This month’s labor report does not carry any compelling indicators that would prompt the Federal Reserve to change its current stance on interest rates, as it continues the battle to wrangle inflation.  

Although April might seem indicative of a moderating labor picture, by many accounts, moderation is not a bad thing. Economists have been expecting the heat in the post-pandemic labor market to cool for many months. And when the pace of hiring modulates somewhat, both employers and employees have the opportunity to weigh their options more carefully as they map out the future.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), NBC News, Staffing Industry Analysts, FOX News, CNN, ABC News, Reuters, The Washington Post.