Hiring slowed in April, this morning's report from the Labor Department shows. Total nonfarm employment increased by 160,000 jobs, despite economists' earlier predictions that the report would reflect the addition of around 200,000 jobs to public- and private-sector payrolls. Unemployment remained at 5 percent.
There were no big surprises in this month's Employment Situation Summary from the Labor Department: the economy added 215,000 jobs, just exceeding economists' predictions, and the unemployment rate rose slightly, from 4.9 percent for February to 5 percent for March. Perhaps the biggest news, however, was wage growth. Average hourly earnings increased 7 cents to $25.43, after a 2-cent decline the previous month. But some experts feel that we're still not seeing the kind of wage growth expected from a market that's supposedly approaching full employment.
The monthly Employment Situation Summary, which measures jobs added to both public and private, non-farm payrolls, reflected the addition of 211,000 jobs in November and an unchanged unemployment rate of 5 percent. This was higher than the 200,000 jobs predicted by economists polled by Reuters ahead of the Department of Labor's release. In addition, the previous two month's numbers were revised upward, by +18,000 jobs for October and +8,000 jobs for September, respectively.
The Employment Situation Summary for October far surpassed economists' predictions, showing the addition of 271,000 jobs to public and private payrolls. Prior to this morning's release from the labor department, economists polled by Reuters forecasted gains of 180,000 jobs. The unemployment rate was "essentially unchanged" at 5 percent.
After a relatively soft ADP report, tallying the addition of 185,000 jobs to private payrolls in July, this morning's release of the Employment Situation Summary from the labor department is good news. The report, which includes government jobs as well as those in the private sector, showed that total non-farm employment increased by 215,000 jobs last month, just shy of the 223,000 jobs predicted by economists. Unemployment was flat at 5.3 percent.
This morning's Employment Situation Summary from the labor department exceeded economists' predictions and showed an increase in average hourly earnings as well. The economy added 280,000 jobs last month, more than the 225,000 predicted by economists, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.5 percent (compared with 5.4 percent for the previous month). In addition, March and April's reports were revised upward by a combined 32,000 jobs.
Economists predicted today's release from the Labor Department would should gains of 228,000 jobs last month, and a dip in the unemployment rate of one-tenth of a percent, and The Employment Situation Summary largely bore out their forecast. The economy added 223,000 jobs in April, and unemployment fell from 5.5 percent to 5.4 percent. The news wasn't entirely rosy, however: the Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised the previous month's numbers downward from 126,000 jobs to 85,000 jobs.
Ahead of this morning's report from the Labor Department, economists were predicting a slight slowing of job growth: 230,000 jobs added and an unchanged unemployment rate. Instead, the Employment Situation Summary showed an addition of 257,000 jobs, a slightly higher unemployment rate of 5.7 percent, and a solid increase in average hourly earnings of 12 cents. In addition, November and December's reports were revised upward for a combined total of 147,000 additional jobs, above what was reported.