Positive Job Creation Tempered by Unexpectedly Smaller Numbers; Unemployment Rate Up
The rate of jobs growth slowed in April, with the creation of 266,000 new jobs.
The most robust hiring in April was seen in leisure and hospitality, other services, and local government education. These gains were partially offset by declines in temporary help services and in couriers and messengers.
The unemployment rate took an about-face, reversing its steady decline to tip up from 6.0% to 6.1%.
Average hourly earnings rose by 21 cents in April, after declining by four cents in March, signaling a possible move toward more inflationary conditions.
The average work week increased slightly to 35.0 hours.
TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS:
The temporary help sector experienced another month of declining employment, with a loss in April of 111,000 jobs.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
While the creation of 266,000 jobs in a single month would normally be considered good news, economists had anticipated significantly greater momentum as we move further away from the worst of the pandemic. Reports indicate that most businesses are clearly standing on a growth precipice, looking to hire but struggling to find the people needed to support that growth. In fact, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 44% of small business owners are unable to fill job openings.
Analysts suggest that lingering concerns about the virus, continuing disincentives provided by supplemental unemployment benefits, child and elder care worries and in-person school restrictions may all be contributing factors to the tight talent pipeline. Understanding what is important to job candidates is perhaps more critical today than ever before to entice people not only back into the workforce but onto your payroll specifically.