US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The overall unemployment rate fell by one tenth of a percent in April, to 4.4 percent, as reported by the US Department of Labor. It was 5.0 percent a year ago in April 2016.

The civilian labor force participation rate fell by one tenth of a percent in April, to 62.9 percent.

The labor force participation rate has not changed significantly since late 2013. The employment-population ratio once again rose by one tenth of a percent to 60.2 percent in April. The employment-population ratio has been on a gradual upward trend since October 2013.*

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 211,000 in April. Over the last three months, an average of 174,000 jobs per month have been added.

The unemployment rate for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree fell by one tenth of a percent back to 2.4 percent in April. The rate for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree has not significantly changed since March 2015.

*It should be noted that as of January 2016, updated population estimates are being utilized when calculating employment data. BLS did not modify previous months utilizing the new estimates, so if comparing data from 2016 to earlier months, understand that there will be slight differences in the way the data was derived.

Some details directly from the BLS report:


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 211,000 in April. Employment rose in leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, financial activities, and mining.

In April, leisure and hospitality added 55,000 jobs. Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up over the month (+26,000) and has increased by 260,000 over the year.

Employment in health care and social assistance increased by 37,000 in April. Health care employment continued to trend up over the month (+20,000). This is in line with the industry’s average monthly job growth during the first quarter of this year but below the average gain of 32,000 per month in 2016. Social assistance added 17,000 jobs in April, with all of the gain in individual and family services.

In April, financial activities added 19,000 jobs, with insurance carriers and related activities accounting for most of the gain (+14,000). Over the year, financial activities has added 173,000 jobs.

Employment in mining rose by 9,000 in April, with most of the increase in support activities for mining (+7,000). Since a recent low in October 2016, mining has added 44,000 jobs, with three-fourths of the gain in support activities for mining.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in April (+39,000). The industry has added 612,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours in April. In manufacturing, the workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, and overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.

In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $26.19. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5 percent. In April, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $21.96.