244,000 jobs added in April 2011

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — APRIL 2011: Highlights

(using direct quotes from BLS summary)

  • Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 244,000 in April, and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in several service-providing industries, manufacturing, and mining.
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Note the items highlighted on the household survey. Labor participation is NOT increasing. Rather, there is a divergence between the household and establishment surveys. The household survey data are weak. The establishment data are much better. The increase in unemployment rate is being driven by new entrants to labour market according to household survey. Although not highlighted, note that the number of people counted as unemployed because of re-entry into the labour market has not increased.  You can see this near the end of the graphic above the highlighted line for new entrants. This factoid tells me the labour market is still relatively weak because those who have dropped out of the labour force are not re-entering en masse yet.

Click chart to enlarge.

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Household Survey Data

  • The number of unemployed persons, at 13.7 million, changed little in April. The unemployment rate edged up from 8.8 to 9.0 percent over the month but was 0.8 percentage point lower than in November. The labor force also was little changed in April. (See table A-1.)
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) declined by 283,000 to 5.8 million; their share of unemployment declined to 43.4 percent. (See table A-12.)
  • The civilian labor force participation rate was 64.2 percent for the fourth consecutive month. The employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, changed little in April. (See table A-1.)
  • The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed over the month, at 8.6 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)
  • Among the marginally attached, there were 989,000 discouraged workers in April, a decline of 208,000 from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

  • Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 244,000 in April, and the private sector added 268,000 jobs. Employment rose in a number of service- providing industries, manufacturing, and mining. Since a recent low in February 2010, total payroll employment has grown by 1.8 million. Private sector employment has increased by 2.1 million over the same period. (See table B-1.)
  • In April, employment in retail trade rose by 57,000. Within the industry, employment in general merchandise stores increased by 27,000, offsetting a decline of similar magnitude in the prior month. Elsewhere in retail trade, April job gains occurred in electronics and appliance stores (+6,000), building material and garden supply stores (+6,000), and automobile dealers (+5,000).
  • Employment in professional and business services continued to expand in April, with an increase of 51,000. Job gains occurred in management and technical consulting services (+11,000) and in computer systems design and related services (+8,000). Employment in temporary help services was little changed over the month, following an increase of 34,000 in March.
  • Health care continued to add jobs in April (+37,000). Within health care, job gains continued in ambulatory health care (+22,000) and hospitals (+10,000).
  • Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to increase in April (+46,000). Over the past 3 months, this industry added 151,000 jobs, with nearly two-thirds of the growth in food services and drinking places.
  • Employment in both state government and local government continued to trend down, with April losses concentrated in the non-educational components. Elsewhere in the service-providing sector, employment in information, financial activities, and transportation and warehousing changed little in April.
  • The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained at 34.3 hours in April. The manufacturing workweek for all employees, at 40.4 hours, also was unchanged over the month, while factory overtime increased by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged in April at 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
  • In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $22.95. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings increased by 1.9 percent. In April, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $19.37. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
  • The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from +194,000 to +235,000, and the change for March was revised from +216,000 to +221,000.

The Employment Situation for May is scheduled to be released on Friday, June 3, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

Source: Employment Situation Summary

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8 Comments
  1. Stephan Ewald says

    Hmmm … given that McDonald’s alone added 62,000 people in April to its payroll I’m only wondering?

  2. Stephan Ewald says

    Hmmm … given that McDonald’s alone added 62,000 people in April to its payroll I’m only wondering?

  3. Anonymous says

    Ed, you missed adding a key factoid. +175k from birth/death model, with NFIB small business surveys coming in weak, what are the real chances that +175k new business jobs were added?

    1. Edward Harrison says

      haris, yep. You have to see the data as suspect here. I’m not saying the employment market is deteriorating. I don’t see that despite a few weak numbers in jobless claims data. But, the market is way ahead of itself in interpreting this report as bullish. It’s still not clear to me that things are gangbusters in the jobs market.

  4. Anonymous says

    Ed, you missed adding a key factoid. +175k from birth/death model, with NFIB small business surveys coming in weak, what are the real chances that +175k new business jobs were added?

    1. Edward Harrison says

      haris, yep. You have to see the data as suspect here. I’m not saying the employment market is deteriorating. I don’t see that despite a few weak numbers in jobless claims data. But, the market is way ahead of itself in interpreting this report as bullish. It’s still not clear to me that things are gangbusters in the jobs market.

  5. Stephan Ewald says

    Ed, this is off-topic but because you speak German and there are no links yet in English? This might interest you: Griechenland erwägt Austritt aus der Euro-Zone (Spiegel)

    1. Edward Harrison says

      Vielen Dank, Stephan. Vielleicht uebersetzte ich das mal.

      1. Stephan Ewald says

        Bitte sehr. I think this is the beginning of the end of the €. We Austrians (by passport not persuasion ;-) like to say: Besser ein Ende in Schrecken als Schrecken ohne Ende. I’m travelling a lot and realized that normal folks simply don’t get it. They think every nation should have a current account surplus. And if not this is a nation of losers. I don’t blame them. After this ridiculous letter signed by almost all German economists about competitiveness and Blablabla I gave up. Then came Hans-Werner Sinn with his Target-2-Saldo musings . We simply have too much economic clowns who really really don’t like the €.

        1. Edward Harrison says

          Stephan,

          I fear you are right. This credit crisis is far from over. I have posted the article’s translation now:

          http://pro.creditwritedowns.com/2011/05/greece-is-considering-withdrawal-from-the-euro-zone-rumour.html

      2. Stephan Ewald says

        No need to translate. Here it is: Greece Considers Exit from Euro Zone (Thanks Tom Hickey. You were faster than me ;-)

  6. Stephan Ewald says

    Ed, this is off-topic but because you speak German and there are no links yet in English? This might interest you: Griechenland erwägt Austritt aus der Euro-Zone (Spiegel)

    1. Edward Harrison says

      Vielen Dank, Stephan. Vielleicht uebersetzte ich das mal.

      1. Stephan Ewald says

        Bitte sehr. I think this is the beginning of the end of the €. We Austrians (by passport not persuasion ;-) like to say: Besser ein Ende in Schrecken als Schrecken ohne Ende. I’m travelling a lot and realized that normal folks simply don’t get it. They think every nation should have a current account surplus. And if not this is a nation of losers. I don’t blame them. After this ridiculous letter signed by almost all German economists about competitiveness and Blablabla I gave up. Then came Hans-Werner Sinn with his Target-2-Saldo musings . We simply have too much economic clowns who really really don’t like the €.

        1. Edward Harrison says

          Stephan,

          I fear you are right. This credit crisis is far from over. I have posted the article’s translation now:

          http://pro.creditwritedowns.com/2011/05/greece-is-considering-withdrawal-from-the-euro-zone-rumour.html

      2. Stephan Ewald says

        No need to translate. Here it is: Greece Considers Exit from Euro Zone (Thanks Tom Hickey. You were faster than me ;-)

Comments are closed.

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