In April the national unemployment rate plunged to 6.3 percent, down by 0.4 percentage point from the previous month, while the U.S. economy added 288,400 net non-farm payroll jobs according to the latest Employment Situation Summary released on Friday by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
April was the 50th consecutive month of private sector job growth with a total of approximately 9.2 million net jobs gained within the private sector over that period.
The private sector added 273,400 jobs during the month with growth occurring in most of the sectors. The only sectors to post net losses were the utility and information sectors.
The government sector added jobs in total; however, the federal government subsector again posted a drop in employment. Meanwhile, the state government subsector had a small gain and the local government subsector had large gains with over 70 percent of those gains in education.
Though the drop in the unemployment rate may have been partially due to job growth, a significant decrease in the size of the civilian labor force most likely played a greater factor.
According to a statement on the report, BLS Commissioner Erica Groshen remarked, “Our analysis of the household survey data suggests that the April labor force decline was due mostly to fewer people entering the labor force than usual, rather than to more people exiting the labor force.
“As always, additional months of data may provide further insights into recent labor market developments,” she added.
The number of involuntary part-time workers remained flat while the number of workers marginally attached to the labor force decreased slightly. The number of discouraged workers remained flat for the month.
The number of long-term unemployed decreased by 287,000 in April; over the past year this number has decreased by a total of 908,000.
Following is an approximate breakdown of net job growth within the major private industry sectors and the government sector for April 2014:
• Construction: +32,000
• Financial Activities: +6,000
• Education and Health Services: +40,000
• Information: -3,000
• Leisure and Hospitality: +28,000
• Manufacturing: +12,000
• Mining and Logging: +9,000
• Other Services: +15,000
• Professional and Business Services: +75,000
• Retail: +34,500
• Transportation and Warehousing: +11,300
• Utilities: -2,100
• Wholesale Trade: +15,700
• Government: +15,000
The average work week for private sector non-farm jobs held steady at 34.5 hours while the manufacturing sector average work week decreased by 0.2 hours to 40.8 hours. In April the average hourly earnings for all private non-farm employees had no significant change, remaining at $24.31.
The “May 2014 Employment Situation Summary” is scheduled to be released by the BLS on Friday, June 6, 2014.
“Employment Situation Summary.” bls.gov. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2 May 2014. Web. 2 May 2014.