Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 165,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent in April, both of which exceeded consensus forecast. On the household side of the report, the labor force participation rate was unchanged at 63.5 percent, but has declined 0.3 percent since January. The employment to population ratio dipped slightly in April to 58.6 percent and has shown little movement over the past year. Overall this was a positive report and the total number of people employed increased by nearly 300,000, showing improved traction within the labor market.
As for the establishment side of the report, strong revisions to both February and March have added a total of 114,000 more jobs than previously estimated. Over the past 12 months employment growth has averaged a total of 169,000 jobs per month. Professional and business services continue to show solid improvement, adding 73,000 jobs, as well as retail trade, leisure and hospitality, up 43,000, and retail trade, up 29,000. Employment growth in manufacturing was flat and minor declines were reported in construction, down 6,000, and mining and logging, down 3,000. Government continues to lead employment declines, falling 11,000 for the month. The total private diffusion index fell 2.3 percentage points to 53.9, but remains above the growth threshold of 50. The average workweek for all employees fell by 0.2 hours to 34.4 hours, while the average hourly earnings for all employees rose by four cents to $23.87.