April Job Growth Exceeds Expectations with 211,000 New Positions
Unemployment Rate Sets a New 10-Year Low at 4.4 Percent
JOB GROWTH: Job growth rebounded in April following a significant slowdown in March, with the addition of 211,000 positions far surpassing industry forecasts. Even with the March downturn, the average monthly job growth of 184,500 through the first four months of the year indicates a strengthening market.
TOP INDUSTRIES: Seasonal change sparked growth in the leisure and hospitality industry, with warmer and more stable weather fostering the need for workers in travel and food and beverage settings. The information sector continues to struggle, with the Internet and telecommunications fields contributing most to the overall loss of 45,000 positions over the last six months.
UNEMPLOYMENT: The unemployment rate continued its recent steady improvement, dropping to a decade-low 4.4 percent in April. Since the start of the year, the number of unemployed Americans has fallen by 854,000.
WAGES: In April, the average hourly wage rose by seven cents, marking a 2.5 percent increase since the start of the year.
WORK WEEK: The average work week remains unchanged from March at 34.4 hours.
TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: The temporary jobs sector finally broke through the coveted three million position milestone with the addition of 5,800 jobs in April. Thus far, the temporary job market has grown every month this year, and April’s numbers represent an excellent 3.89 percent year-over-year growth rate.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? April’s job growth signals a much-needed rebound from a dive in March, a month made even more disappointing with a readjusted growth number 19,000 positions lower than originally estimated. A host of factors, ranging from less variable weather to the health of the overall global economy, drove gains and simultaneously pushed unemployment to a 10-year low. These numbers indicate that the workforce is nearing “full employment,” and ultimately may place additional pressure on employers to raise wages to meet growing demand for talented workers.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, The New York Times, CNN Money, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NPR Online, Business Insider, CNBC