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THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- APRIL 2016
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 160,000 in April, and the unemployment
rate was unchanged at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and
financial activities. Job losses continued in mining.
Household Survey Data
In April, the unemployment rate held at 5.0 percent, and the number of unemployed
persons was little changed at 7.9 million. Both measures have shown little
movement since August. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics increased to
6.1 percent in April, while the rates for adult men (4.6 percent), adult women
(4.5 percent), teenagers (16.0 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (8.8 percent),
and Asians (3.8 percent) showed little or no change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined
by 150,000 to 2.1 million in April. These individuals accounted for 25.7 percent
of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)
In April, the labor force participation rate decreased to 62.8 percent, and the
employment-population ratio edged down to 59.7 percent. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (also referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) was about unchanged in April at 6.0 million
and has shown little movement since November. These individuals, who would have
preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had
been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
(See table A-8.)
In April, 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down
by 400,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These
individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work,
and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted
as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding
the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 568,000 discouraged workers in April,
down by 188,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)
Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they
believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons
marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work for
reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 160,000 in April. Over the prior
12 months, employment growth had averaged 232,000 per month. In April,
employment gains occurred in professional and business services, health care,
and financial activities, while mining continued to lose jobs. (See table B-1.)
Professional and business services added 65,000 jobs in April. The industry
added an average of 51,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months. In April,
job gains occurred in management and technical consulting services (+21,000)
and in computer systems design and related services (+7,000).
In April, health care employment rose by 44,000, with most of the increase
occurring in hospitals (+23,000) and ambulatory health care services (+19,000).
Over the year, health care employment has increased by 502,000.
Employment in financial activities rose by 20,000 in April, with credit
intermediation and related activities (+8,000) contributing to the gain.
Financial activities has added 160,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
Mining employment continued to decline in April (-7,000). Since reaching a
peak in September 2014, employment in mining has decreased by 191,000, with
more than three-quarters of the loss in support activities for mining.
Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing,
wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information,
leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little or no change over
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased
by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in April. The manufacturing workweek and overtime
remained unchanged at 40.7 hours and 3.3 hours, respectively. The average
workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm
payrolls was up by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls increased by 8 cents to $25.53, following an increase of 6 cents
in March. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent.
In April, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $21.45. (See tables B-3
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised
from +245,000 to +233,000, and the change for March was revised from +215,000
to +208,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March
combined were 19,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months,
job gains have averaged 200,000 per month.
The Employment Situation for May is scheduled to be released on Friday,
June 3, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).