Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 253,000 in April, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported May 5. Over the prior 6 months, the average monthly gain has been 290,000. The number of unemployed persons, at 5.7 million, also changed little in April. The unemployment rate has ranged from 3.4 percent to 3.7 percent since March 2022.
Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services (+43,000), health care (+40,000), leisure and hospitality (+31,000), and social assistance (+25,000), financial activities (+23,000), government (+23,000), and in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+6,000). Employment was little changed over the month in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and other services.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), teenagers (9.2 percent), Whites (3.1 percent), Blacks (4.7 percent), Asians (2.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent) showed little or no change in April.
The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs decreased by 307,000 in April to 2.6 million.
The number of persons jobless less than 5 weeks decreased by 406,000 to 1.9 million in April. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) changed little over the month at 1.2 million and accounted for 20.6 percent of the total unemployed.
Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.6 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.4 percent, were unchanged in April. These measures remain below their pre-pandemic February 2020 levels (63.3 percent and 61.1 percent, respectively).
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 3.9 million, was little changed in April. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job increased by 346,000 over the month to 5.3 million. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job.
Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force increased by 191,000 to 1.5 million in April. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was little changed over the month at 364,000.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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