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Friday, May 02, 2014

April Employment Report: 288,000 Jobs, 6.3% Unemployment Rate

by Calculated Risk on 5/02/2014 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000, and the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from +197,000 to +222,000, and the change for March was revised from +192,000 to +203,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March were 36,000 higher than previously reported.
Percent Job Losses During RecessionsClick on graph for larger image.

The headline number was well above expectations of 215,000 payroll jobs added.

The first graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms, compared to previous post WWII recessions. The dotted line is ex-Census hiring.

This shows the depth of the recent employment recession - worse than any other post-war recession - and the relatively slow recovery due to the lingering effects of the housing bust and financial crisis.

Payroll jobs added per month
Employment is 0.1% below the pre-recession peak (113 thousand fewer total jobs - almost back).  Private employment is now solidly above the pre-recession peak by 406 thousand.

NOTE: The second graph is the change in payroll jobs ex-Census - meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed to show the underlying payroll changes.

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

The Labor Force Participation Rate was decreased in April to 62.8%. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force. 

The participation rate is well below the 66% to 67% rate that was normal over the last 20 years, although a significant portion of the recent decline is due to demographics.

unemployment rate
The Employment-Population ratio was unchanged in April at 58.9% (black line).

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

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment ratesThe fourth graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate was declined sharply in April at 6.3%.

This was a solid employment report, and including revisions, was well above expectations.

I'll have much more later ...