U.S.: Payroll employment increases by 164,000 in April; unemployment rate edges down to 3.9%

May 4, 2018

Job gains in professional and business services, manufacturing, health care, and mining was sufficient to force the unemployment rate down to 3.9 percent in April 2018, following 6 months at 4.1 percent. For the month total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women decreased to 3.5 percent in April. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), teenagers(12.9 percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), Asians (2.8 percent),and Hispanics (4.8 percent) showed little or no change over the month.

For the month, job losses and completion of temporary job declined by 188,000 to 3.0 million. However, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.3 million and accounted for 20.0 percent of the unemployed.

There was little change in the labor force participation rate. In April, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 172,000 from a year earlier. As defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marginally attached individuals are persons who were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. Among this group, 408,000 were classified as “discouraged workers”. A discouraged worker is a person not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.

The number of involuntary part time works was essentially unchanged at 5.0 million in April. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or because they were unable to find full-time jobs.



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