May2018 Spherion Newsletter

May2018 Spherion Newsletter

Job Growth Continues in April with 164,000 New Jobs

Record-Low Unemployment Drops Further 

JOB GROWTH: Rebounding from a dip in March, the job market in April gained 164,000 new jobs.

TOP INDUSTRIES: As was the case last month, the most significant job gains this month were seen in professional and business services, manufacturing, healthcare and mining.

UNEMPLOYMENT: For the first time in six months, the unemployment rate changed, dropping down from 4.1 percent to 3.9 percent—still the lowest level in more than 17 years.

WAGES: Little progress was seen on the wage front in April, with average hourly earnings slipping back to 2.6 percent from last month’s 2.7 percent on an annual basis.

There was no change in the average work week in April, remaining at 34.5 hours.

TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: Growth in the temporary jobs sector ramped back up in April, with a gain of 10,300 jobs.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Job growth picked up nicely in April, and the unemployment rate dipped to a new record low for this century. These are signs of a strong economy, although the lower unemployment rate is partly due to fewer people looking for jobs, possibly signaling a lack of confidence in available opportunities. At the same time, employers continue to struggle to fill jobs, which should incentivize them to increase wages as a means to attract and retain good talent. In reality, wages have not shown any appreciable momentum, a situation that encourages more employees to seek greener pastures.

This newsletter references the BLS Report of April activity, released 5/4/18. 

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