Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 jobs in April, something Staffing Industry Analysts calls a “Goldilocks economy,” not too hot, not too cold, just right. Temporary employment was up 16,000 jobs nationally in April, and 5.5% year over year. Here at Nelson, the amount of temporary workers was up 8.8% in April.
During the month of April, we saw job gains in professional and business services, healthcare, and construction. The breakdown looks like this:
- Professional and business services added 62,000 jobs in April. Of note:
- Services to buildings and dwellings added 16,000 jobs.
- Computer systems design and related services added 9,000 jobs.
- Business support services added 7,000 jobs.
- Management and technical consulting services added 6,000 jobs.
- Healthcare employment increased by 45,000 in April.
- Employment in construction rose by 45,000 in April.
Also trending up was employment in transportation and warehousing, which added 15,000 jobs. Employment in manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, remained mostly unchanged over the month.
The unemployment rate stayed the same—5.4%.
The average workweek for employees nationally remained at 34.5 hours in April. The manufacturing workweek edged down to 40.8 hours, and factory overtime edged down to 3.2 hours. Here at Nelson, the average work week in April was 34.06 hours.
In April, average hourly earnings for employees rose by 3 cents to $24.87. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.2%.
The change in total employment for February was revised up from a stated jobs increase of 264,000 to 266,000. Unfortunately, March was revised down from the previously stated jobs increase of 126,000 to just 85,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 39,000 lower than previously reported.
The fact that the Feds are watching jobs and the economy closely to determine when to raise interest rates is well documented. Yellen just noted that while the labor market and consumer confidence have been improving, the “near-normal 5.4% unemployment doesn’t reflect the large numbers of discouraged workers who have stopped looking for jobs and part-time employees who prefer full-time positions.” The labor market is approaching full strength, but we can still do more to fuel growth. Here at Nelson, we’re proud to be helping companies hire the talent they need to fuel that growth.