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Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

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 Daylight Time.

                            Statement of

                          William W. Beach
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics

                        Friday, May 3, 2019

      In April, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000, 
and the unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent. Over the 
month, notable job gains occurred in professional and business 
services, construction, health care, and social assistance.
      The April employment gain compares with an average monthly 
gain of 213,000 over the prior 12 months. (The prior 12-month 
average incorporates revisions for February and March, which 
increased nonfarm payroll employment by 16,000 on net.)
      Employment in professional and business services increased 
by 76,000 in April. Job gains occurred in administrative and 
support services (+53,000) and computer systems design and 
related services (+14,000). Over the past 12 months, 
professional and business services has added 535,000 jobs.
      Construction employment rose by 33,000 in April, with gains 
occurring in nonresidential specialty trade contractors 
(+22,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction 
(+10,000). Over the past 12 months, construction employment has 
increased by 256,000.
      Employment in health care increased by 27,000 in April and 
404,000 over the past 12 months. In April, job gains occurred in 
ambulatory health care services (+17,000), hospitals (+8,000), 
and community care facilities for the elderly (+7,000).
      Social assistance added 26,000 jobs over the month, with 
all of the gain occurring in individual and family services. 
Over the past 12 months, employment in social assistance has 
increased by 120,000.
      Employment continued to trend up in financial activities in 
April (+12,000). Over the past year, the industry has added 
110,000 jobs.

      In April, manufacturing employment changed little for the 
third month in a row (+4,000). In the 12 months prior to 
February, manufacturing had added an average of 22,000 jobs per 

      Retail trade employment changed little in April (-12,000). 
General merchandise stores lost 9,000 jobs, while motor vehicle 
and parts dealers added 8,000 jobs.
      Employment in other major industries--including mining, 
wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, 
leisure and hospitality, and government--showed little change 
over the month.
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 6 cents in April to $27.77, following a 5-cent 
gain in March. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings 
have risen by 3.2 percent; the over-the-year percent change has 
been 3.0 percent or above for 9 consecutive months. From March 
2018 to March 2019, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban 
Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.9 percent (on a seasonally 
adjusted basis).
      Turning to measures from the survey of households, the 
unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.6 
percent in April, the lowest rate since December 1969. Over the 
month, the number of unemployed people fell by 387,000 to 5.8 
      Among the unemployed, the number of people searching for 
work for 27 weeks or more was little changed at 1.2 million in 
April. These long-term unemployed accounted for 21.1 percent of 
the unemployed.
      The labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2 
percentage point to 62.8 percent in April but was unchanged from 
a year earlier. The employment-population ratio, at 60.6 
percent, was unchanged over the month.
      In April, 4.7 million people were working part time for 
economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time 
workers), little changed from the previous month.
      Among those neither working nor looking for work in April, 
1.4 million were considered marginally attached to the labor 
force, little changed from a year earlier. (People who are 
marginally attached to the labor force 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.) Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally 
attached who believed no jobs were available for them, numbered 
454,000 in April, also little changed from a year earlier.
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000 
in April, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent.

Last Modified Date: May 03, 2019