April Job Growth Surges to 263,000

Unemployment Drops Down to 3.6 Percent

JOB GROWTH: The employment market saw continued strengthening in April with the addition of 263,000 new jobs.

TOP INDUSTRIES: Robust gains in professional and business services,construction, healthcare and social assistance contributed to the strength of the numbers in April.

UNEMPLOYMENT: The unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent in April, hitting its lowest point since December 1969.

WAGES: Wages rose slightly in April, sustaining an average annual rate of 3.2 percent.

WORK WEEK: The average work week decreased in April to 34.4 hours.

TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: The temporary help sector added 17,900 jobs in April. Although clearly a positive turn, the gain did not quite make up for losses in the first quarter of the year.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Hiring was up significantly in April with the addition of 263,000 jobs, exceeding expectations. Robust jobs numbers, coupled with the recent bump in GDP, no signs of inflation, increases in productivity and a declining unemployment rate are all indicators of a strong economy. Some lingering concerns stem from the continued slow pace of wage growth; the possibility that some job additions relate to the gig economy, which does not offer traditional job security and benefits; as well as the high number of Americans who have essentially left the job market because they are too discouraged to continue to search for work. Overall, however, the outlook is positive, with businesses continuing to briskly compete for available talent.

This newsletter references the BLS Report of April activity, released 5/3/19.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, CNBC, Staffing Industry Analysts, MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CBS News, FOX News