May 06, 2003
Total nonfarm payroll employment edged down by 48,000 in April to 130.3 million, seasonally adjusted. This followed 2 months of job losses totaling 477,000 (as revised).
Over the month, employment declined sharply in manufacturing, department stores, and three travel-related industries—amusements and recreation, hotels, and air transportation.
Manufacturing job losses totaled 95,000 in April, more than twice the average monthly decline for the prior 12 months (-40,000). Motor vehicles and equipment (-23,000) accounted for about one-quarter of the April decline in factory employment. This industry has lost 150,000 jobs since its most recent employment peak in June 2000.
Department stores lost 34,000 jobs over the month. Overall, employment in retail trade was little changed in April, as the job losses in department stores were partially offset by job gains in eating and drinking places (28,000).
Employment in amusement and recreation services and in hotels decreased by 41,000 and 20,000, respectively, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Employment also continued to decline in air transportation, an industry that has lost 177,000 jobs since its employment peak in January 2001.
Payroll employment data are from the Current Employment Statistics program. The above data are seasonally adjusted. Data for March and April 2003 are preliminary and subject to revision. For more information, see "The Employment Situation: April 2003" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL. 03-203.