U.S unemployment rate stable at 3.6% in April 2022

May 18, 2022

In April, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 428,000. The unemployment rate was stable at 3.6% which is 5.9 million persons in April 2022.  Notably, these measures are little different from their values in February 2020 (3.5% and 5.7 million, respectively), prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The job growth was spread across various industries, with leading gains in leisure and hospitality, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing. However, nonfarm employment is down by 1.2 million, or 0.8%, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

Furthermore, among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (3.2%) declined in April. The jobless rates for adult men (3.5%), teenagers (10.2%), Whites (3.2%), Blacks (5.9%), Hispanics (4.1%), and Asians (3.1%) showed little change over the month.

According to the BEA, among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers was unchanged at 1.5 million persons in April after a 191,000 decline in March 2022 level of 1.4 million person. The number of persons on temporary layoff was little changed over the month at 853,000. Additionally, the long-term unemployed accounted for 25.2% of all unemployed persons in April. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) is 362,000 higher than February 2020. While the number of persons on temporary layoff was at 853,000 in April.

The labour force participation rate for April 2022 stood at 62.2%, while the employment-population ratio also stood at 60.0%. The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job changed little to 5.9 million in April, “This measure is above its February 2020 level of 5.0 million”. A total of 1.6 million individuals were slightly attached to the labour force. Of the marginally attached, 456,000 persons were classified as discouraged workers in April.

“In April, 1.7 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic–that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the 4 weeks preceding the survey due to the pandemic. This measure is down from 2.5 million in the previous month. Among those who reported in April that they were unable to work because of pandemic-related closures or lost business,19.0% received at least some pay from their employer for the hours not worked, little different from the prior month,” as per U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nonetheless, persons employed part-time for economic reasons stood at 4.0 million in April, down by 357,000 from its February 2020 level. Based on BLS assessment, “these individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.”

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 428,000 in April but is down by 1.2 million, or 8%, from pre-pandemic level in February 2020. Job growth averaged 562,000 per month in the first quarter of 2022. In the pass month Manufacturing services added 55,000 jobs in April 2022. Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in April (+78,000). Retail trade added 29,000 over the month. Additionally, employment in social assistance added 25,000 and construction added 19,000. Other sectors such as health care (+34,000), Financial activities (+35,000), and professional and business services  (+41,000) added to total employment. While employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 52,000, wholesale trade and mining went up 22,000 and 9,000, respectively. Also, there was little changed shown in information, construction and other services, and government.


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