Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Erica L. Groshen
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Friday, May 8, 2015
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in April, after
edging up in March (+85,000). The unemployment rate was
essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent in April. Employment rose
over the month in professional and business services, health
care, and construction. Job losses continued in mining.
Incorporating the revisions for February and March, which
reduced nonfarm employment by 39,000, on net, monthly job gains
have averaged 191,000 over the past 3 months. In the 12 months
prior to April, employment growth averaged 257,000 per month.
Professional and business services employment rose by
62,000 in April. Over the prior 3 months, job gains averaged
35,000 per month. Services to buildings and dwellings added
16,000 jobs in April, after changing little in March. In April,
employment continued to trend up in computer systems design and
related services (+9,000), in business support services
(+7,000), and in management and technical consulting services
Employment in health care increased by 45,000 in April and
has grown by 390,000 over the past year. Job growth was
widespread in the industry in April, with gains in ambulatory
health care services (+25,000), in hospitals (+12,000), and in
nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000).
Construction employment rose by 45,000 in April, after
changing little in the prior month. Employment in specialty
trade contractors increased by 41,000 in April, with gains about
evenly split between the residential and nonresidential
components. Employment declined by 8,000 in nonresidential
Manufacturing employment was essentially unchanged for the
third month in a row. The industry had added an average of
18,000 jobs per month from January 2014 to January 2015.
Mining employment fell by 15,000 in April, with job losses
in support activities for mining (-10,000) and in oil and gas
extraction (-3,000). Employment in mining has fallen by 49,000
thus far in 2015, more than offsetting the 41,000 jobs gained
Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 3 cents in April to $24.87. Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.2 percent. From
March 2014 to March 2015, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban
Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged (on a seasonally adjusted
Turning now to data from our survey of households, both the
unemployment rate, at 5.4 percent, and the number of unemployed
persons, at 8.5 million, were essentially unchanged in April.
These measures are down by 0.8 percentage point and 1.1 million,
respectively, over the year. Among those unemployed in April,
29.0 percent had been jobless for 27 weeks or longer. Both the
number of long-term unemployed persons and their share of total
unemployment have fallen over the year.
The labor force participation rate was little changed at
62.8 percent in April and has remained within a narrow range of
62.7 percent to 62.9 percent since April 2014. The employment-
population ratio was 59.3 percent for the fourth month in a row.
Among those employed in April, 6.6 million were at work
part time for economic reasons, little changed over the month.
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 full-time work.
Among people who were neither working nor looking for work
in April, 2.1 million were classified as marginally attached to
the labor force, about unchanged over the year. These
individuals had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the
survey but wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked
for a job within the last 12 months. The number of discouraged
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that
no jobs were available for them, was 756,000 in April, also
about unchanged over the year.
In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in
April, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at