April 2015 numbers were released this morning, Friday, May 8. Details HERE. Check back for updates throughout the day.
+223,000 jobs, Unemp. Rate down slightly to 5.4%.
The following are outdated. They refer to numbers and reports for April 2014. For current reports and numbers, please use the link above.
April BLS Highlights:
- A generally good report, with a significant addition of jobs, The BLS reports that 288,000 payroll jobs were added in April, quite a bit higher than the projected range of 200,000 to 215,000 new jobs.
- The BLS reports that 288,000 payroll jobs were added in April, quite a bit higher than the projected range of 200,000 to 215,000 new jobs.
- February jobs numbers were revised upwards by 25,000 and March numbers were revised upwards by 11,000. Job growth has averaged 190,000/month over the past 12 months.
- Private jobs increased by 273,000. Construction jobs increased by 32,000; manufacturing jobs increased by 12,000.
- Government jobs increased by 15,000.
- The unemployment rate dropped significantly to 6.3% Much of the rate drop, however, was due to people leaving the labor force, which declined by 806,000. (People dropping out in despair? Read more HERE.) # of people employed dropped 73,000 in seasonally adjusted numbers, but in unadjusted "raw" numbers, employment increased by 677,000. (The unemployment rate comes from a different source than the number of jobs which is why the unemployment rate can increase even if the number of jobs increases. Over time, these two numbers closely parallel each other. The unemployment rate, however, is much more volatile than the jobs numbers. Also, the unemployment rate is not directed related to the number of people getting unemployment benefits. This is one of the biggest employment myths out there. MORE HERE.)
- The alternate unemployment rate (which includes part time workers who want full time jobs, discouraged workers, and marginally attached workers) DECREASED to 12.3%, a decrease of .04%, four-tenths of a percent, the lowest since October 2008. One year ago the alternate unemployment rate was 13.9%. All alternate unemployment measures dropped significantly in April, however, a big reason for the decrease was that people left the labor force.
- The labor force decreased by 806,000 in April. This is a very big decrease, particularly for April. We'll have to look more carefully at this number to see exactly which segments of the population left the work force in April.
- The number of people employed, including agricultural and self-employed, decreased 73,000 in seasonally adjusted numbers in April, but, in unadjusted "raw" numbers, it increased by 677,000 in April. Full-time workers increased by 412,000 in April, while part-timer workers decreased 398,000.
- Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 in seasonally adjusted numbers:
Since Bush left office & Obama took office (January 2009) in seasonally adjusted numbers:
- 8.6 million MORE jobs in total
- 9.2 million MORE private sector jobs
- 7.7 million MORE people working*
- 4.3 million MORE jobs in total
- 5.0 million MORE private sector jobs
- 3.5 million MORE people working*
April 2014 reports:
- Private Sector Job Loss/Growth Since 2008 w/ Graph
- A Drop in the Labor Force: Are the Unemployed Dropping out In Despair? - APRIL
- What Was the Unemployment Rate When Obama Took Office (compared to today)? - APRIL
- How Many Jobs Created or Lost Under Obama? - APRIL
- Jobs Lost/Gained Year by Year Since 1999 - April.
- Private/Government Jobs Gained/Lost Month by Month 2011 to 2014
- How Many Jobs Were Created in 2013? - UPDATED with final 2013 numbers.
- How Many Jobs Have Been Created in 2014 to date? - Updated.
- How Many Government Jobs Lost or Added Under Obama? - Updated for APRIL
- Private/Govt Jobs Gained/Lost Under Obama
- How Many Jobs Lost or Gained in April 2014? - Updated for APRIL.
- How Many Jobs Lost or Gained Over the Past Year? (April 2013 through April 2014) - Not yet published for April.
- How Many People Left or Joined the Work Force (Civilian Labor Force) Since Obama Took Office?
The following April Jobs Projections were posted earlier in the week:
- ADP, the private payroll service, estimated a whopping 220,000 new private sector jobs in April, with big gains in construction. This is a big increase, about 30,000 higher than the average over the past year. ADP numbers are often considered a harbinger for the BLS numbers, usually released two days after the ADP report. First time unemployment claims in early April were lower than they have been since early 2007. Now we wait until tomorrow, Friday, to see what the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) says.
- Projections from Fox Business:
"The U.S. Labor Department’s monthly jobs report is due out Friday and the numbers are widely expected to show some improvement over the March figures, when 192,000 jobs were added to the economy and the headline unemployment rate held steady at 6.7%.Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group, predicted 200,000 new jobs were added in April and that the unemployment rate will tick lower to 6.6%. A broader consensus of economists is even more optimistic, forecasting the addition of 215,000 new jobs.Faucher predicted “continued solid growth, not fantastic but more than enough to absorb new entrants into the labor force plus some of those who’ve been unemployed.”"
- Just a note: We only need about 65,000 to 80,000 jobs a month to account for population growth, as almost all of the population growth over the last decade has been in the older age groups, the age groups in which people start to leave the labor force due to retirement.
- USA Today summarizes:
Economists surveyed by Action Economics predict that U.S. payrolls overall, including governments, increased by 210,000 jobs last month. Average monthly gains for January through March were 176,000. Economists also predict Friday's report will show the unemployment rate fell to 6.6% from 6.7% in March. The latest jobs data released Thursday showed initial claims for unemployment benefits rose for the third straight week to their highest level since late February. First-time claims last week reached a seasonally adjusted level of 344,000, up 14,000 from a week earlier. Economists' median forecast predicted a drop to 320,000, according to Action Economics survey. Claims have been climbing since early April when they reached a seven-year low of 301,000, but less than half their peak levels (which) were over 600,000 a week in 2009. Jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs, so higher numbers could suggest a weakening labor market. But analysts caution that weekly unemployment claims can be volatile, not least during the Easter-school spring break period.
Just a note here as well: I definitely want to emphasize that comment on volatile claims numbers. Seasonal adjustments are most hinky around holidays that move, such as Easter. And the unadjusted numbers do not show any alarming increases. So it would not be wise to make any predictions about layoffs until we have a couple more weeks of jobless claims to consider.