May 11, 2009
Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 539,000 in April. Since the recession began in December 2007, payroll employment has fallen by 5.7 million.
In April, job losses continued in most major private-sector industries.
Employment in manufacturing fell by 149,000 over the month, with widespread job losses among the component industries. Three durable goods industries—transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, and machinery—accounted for more than half of the decline. Since September 2008, manufacturing has lost 1.2 million jobs.
Construction employment declined by 110,000 in April, with losses spread throughout the sector. Over the past 6 months, job losses have averaged 120,000 per month, compared with 46,000 per month from December 2007 through October 2008.
The professional and business services industry lost 122,000 jobs in April. This industry has shed an average of 139,000 jobs per month since October 2008. Half of the April decline occurred in temporary help services.
Employment in retail trade fell by 47,000 in April. Job losses in department stores, automobile dealers, and building material and garden supply stores accounted for most of the decline.
Wholesale trade employment was down by 41,000 over the month, with much of the decrease among durable goods wholesalers.
Health care employment grew by 17,000 in April. Job gains in health care have averaged 17,000 per month thus far in 2009, down from an average of 30,000 per month during 2008.
Employment in federal government rose by 66,000 over the month largely due to the hiring of temporary workers for the 2010 United States Census.
These data are from the BLS Current Employment Statistics program, and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent two months are preliminary. More information can be found in "The Employment Situation: April 2009" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 09-0482.