Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 3.6%
April job creation was on par with the prior month’s slightly revised figure of 428,000.
Continued growth was recorded in most sectors, with noteworthy gains in leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing.
The unemployment rate was unchanged in April, holding steady at 3.6%. While we have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels, we are very close to that milestone of 3.5%
Pay rates continued to inch higher, with an average increase of 10 cents per hour in April, contributing to a 12-month average monthly wage increase of 5.5%.
From March to April, there was no change in the average work week, which held steady at 34.6 hours.
TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS:
The pace of growth slowed for another month in the temporary help sector, recording a gain of just 2,400 jobs.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Job growth in April was robust and unemployment held steady, both good signs of a continuing recovery. The potential downside is driven by worries that growth may be leveling off. Under normal circumstances, however, this month’s activity would be hailed as a hallmark of strong economic growth. Other factors, not the least of which is record-breaking inflation, may be dampening what should be an optimistic outlook for continued labor market expansion.
There is clear opportunity for growth, with most sectors still not fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels of employment, although the economy overall is nearing the 90% mark. At the same time, employers continue to struggle with constraints in labor supply, making it even more difficult to fill open jobs, despite offers of higher pay and other inducements to attract candidates. Under these circumstances, retention strategies take center stage as employers look to hold onto the talent already on their rosters.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Staffing Industry Analysts, American Staffing Association, CNBC, Washington Post, FOX News, Yahoo! Finance, The New York Times