May 04, 2012 | 1099 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 115,000 in April, and the unemployment

rate was little changed at 8.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services,

retail trade, and health care, but declined in transportation and warehousing.

Household Survey Data

Both the number of unemployed persons (12.5 million) and the unemployment

rate (8.1 percent) changed little in April. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men

(7.5 percent), adult women (7.4 percent), teenagers (24.9 percent), whites

(7.4 percent), and Hispanics (10.3 percent) showed little or no change in

April, while the rate for blacks (13.0 percent) declined over the month.

The jobless rate for Asians was 5.2 percent in April (not seasonally

adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over)

was little changed at 5.1 million in April. These individuals made up 41.3

percent of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed

has fallen by 759,000. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate declined in April to 63.6 percent,

while the employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, changed little.

(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes

referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged in

April at 7.9 million. These individuals were working part time because their

hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

(See table A-8.)

In April, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force,

essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally

adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were

available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.

They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in

the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 968,000 discouraged workers in April,

about the same as a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)

Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they

believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons

marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work

in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance

or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 115,000 in April. This increase

followed a gain of 154,000 in March and gains averaging 252,000 per month

for December to February. In April, employment rose in professional and

business services, retail trade, and health care. Transportation and

warehousing lost jobs over the month. (See table B-1.)

Employment in professional and business services increased by 62,000 in

April. Since a recent low point in September 2009, employment in this

industry has grown by 1.5 million. In April, employment in temporary help

services edged up by 21,000. Employment grew in architectural and

engineering services (+7,000) and in computer systems design and related

services (+7,000).

Retail trade employment rose by 29,000 over the month. General merchandise

stores added 21,000 jobs in April but has shown no definitive trend in recent

months. Employment in building material and garden supply stores continued to

trend up; the industry has added 19,000 jobs since December.

Health care continued to add jobs (+19,000) in April. Within the industry,

employment in ambulatory health care services, which includes home health care

and offices of physicians, rose by 15,000.

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking

places continued to trend up (+20,000) in April. Since February 2010, food

services and drinking places has added 576,000 jobs.

Manufacturing employment continued to trend up (+16,000) in April, with

job growth in fabricated metal products (+6,000) and machinery (+5,000).

Since its most recent employment low in January 2010, manufacturing has

added 489,000 jobs, largely in durable goods manufacturing.

Transportation and warehousing lost 17,000 jobs in April, with employment

declines in transit and ground passenger transportation (-11,000) and in

couriers and messengers (-7,000).

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction,

wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and government changed

little in April.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged

at 34.5 hours in April. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to

40.8 hours, and factory overtime rose by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. The average

workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls

was unchanged at 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls

rose by 1 cent to $23.38. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have

increased by 1.8 percent. In April, average hourly earnings of private-sector

production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 3 cents to $19.72.

(See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from

+240,000 to +259,000, and the change for March was revised from +120,000 to



The Employment Situation for May is scheduled to be released on

Friday, June 1, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

The PDF version of the news release

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