Friday, May 05, 2017

April Employment Report: 211,000 Jobs, 4.4% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 5/05/2017 08:43:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 211,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, financial activities, and mining.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised up from +219,000 to +232,000, and the change for March was revised down from +98,000 to +79,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 6,000 lower than previously reported.
...
In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $26.19. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5 percent.
emphasis added
Payroll jobs added per monthClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the monthly change in payroll jobs, ex-Census (meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed - mostly in 2010 - to show the underlying payroll changes).

Total payrolls increased by 211 thousand in April (private payrolls increased 194 thousand).

Payrolls for February and March were revised down by a combined 6 thousand.

Year-over-year change employmentThis graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In April, the year-over-year change was 2.24 million jobs.  This is a decent year-over-year gain.


The third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates The Labor Force Participation Rate was decreased in April to 62.9%. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.   A large portion of the recent decline in the participation rate is due to demographics.

The Employment-Population ratio increased to 60.2% (black line).

I'll post the 25 to 54 age group employment-population ratio graph later.

unemployment rateThe fourth graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate decreased in April to 4.4%.

This was above expectations of 185,000 jobs, however the previous two months were revised down slightly.

I'll have much more later ...