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.
WORK WEEK: 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,