The modest increase in jobs mirrors the unexpectedly slow March figures, which showed 120,000 jobs added. However, a positive regarding that report is the jobs numbers for March were revised upward from 120,000 to 154,000. Further, February's gain in jobs was revised upward from 240,000 originally reported to 259,000.
The trends in jobs continue to show slow or no gains across employment sectors, although employment losses were reported in transportation and courier and messaging service industries.
All the major longterm unemployment trends remained unchanged, according to the report, showing a continued difficulty in finding new jobs for workers who report being unemployed for longer than 27 weeks. Additionally, the number of Americans who have accepted part-time work because they cannot find full-time employment remained unchanged at almost eight million.
Recent economic indicators have been mixed regarding whether the slow but steady recovery is continuing apace, or is slowing down. For example, while March jobless rates were lower for the vast majority of US metropolitan areas, and job gains continue to outpace job losses, April sales figures were lower for many retailers, and the ongoing European economic slowdown is thought to be a real risk to the US recovery.
The strength or weakness of the US economy, and especially the jobs situation in the USA, is viewed as the number one factor that will determine the US presidential election in November of this year.