Payroll Employment Rises by 223,000 in April, 2015; Jobless Rate Essentially Unchanged (5.4%)

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—May 8, 2015. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and construction. Mining employment continued to decline.

Household Survey Data

In April, both the unemployment rate (5.4 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (8.5 million) were essentially unchanged. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.8 percentage point and 1.1 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians increased to 4.4 percent. The rates for adult men (5.0 percent), adult women (4.9 percent), teenagers (17.1 percent), whites (4.7 percent), blacks (9.6 percent), and Hispanics (6.9 percent) showed little or no change in April. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by 241,000 to 2.7 million in April. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) changed little at 2.5 million, accounting for 29.0 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 888,000. (See table A-12.)

In April, the civilian labor force participation rate (62.8 percent) changed little. Since April 2014, the participation rate has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent. The employment-population ratio held at 59.3 percent in April and has been at this level since January. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 6.6 million in April, but is down by 880,000 from a year earlier. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, 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, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed over the year. (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 756,000 discouraged workers in April, little different from 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 for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in April, after edging up in March (+85,000). In April, employment increased in professional and business services, health care, and construction, while employment in mining continued to decline. (See table B-1.)

Professional and business services added 62,000 jobs in April. Over the prior 3 months, job gains averaged 35,000 per month. In April, services to buildings and dwellings added 16,000 jobs, following little change in March. Employment continued to trend up in April in computer systems design and related services (+9,000), in business support services (+7,000), and in management and technical consulting services (+6,000).

Health care employment increased by 45,000 in April. Job growth was distributed among the three major components–ambulatory health care services (+25,000), hospitals (+12,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000). Over the past year, health care has added 390,000 jobs.

Employment in construction rose by 45,000 in April, after changing little in March. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 280,000 jobs. In April, job growth was concentrated in specialty trade contractors (+41,000), with employment gains about evenly split between the residential and nonresidential components. Employment declined over the month in nonresidential building construction (-8,000).

In April, employment continued to trend up in transportation and warehousing (+15,000).

Employment in mining fell by 15,000 in April, with most of the job loss in support activities for mining (-10,000) and in oil and gas extraction (-3,000). Since the beginning of the year, employment in mining has declined by 49,000, with losses concentrated in support activities for mining.

Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained at 34.5 hours in April. The manufacturing workweek for all employees edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours, and factory overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $24.87. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.2 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged up by 2 cents to $20.90 in April. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from +264,000 to +266,000, and the change for March was revised from +126,000 to +85,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 39,000 lower than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 191,000 per month.

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The Employment Situation for May is scheduled to be released on Friday, June 5, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

Related Material:

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

Employment Situation Frequently Asked Questions

Employment Situation Technical Note

Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age

Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age

Table A-3. Employment status of the Hispanic or Latino population by sex and age

Table A-4. Employment status of the civilian population 25 years and over by educational attainment

Table A-5. Employment status of the civilian population 18 years and over by veteran status, period of service, and sex, not seasonally adjusted

Table A-6. Employment status of the civilian population by sex, age, and disability status, not seasonally adjusted

Table A-7. Employment status of the civilian population by nativity and sex, not seasonally adjusted

Table A-8. Employed persons by class of worker and part-time status

Table A-9. Selected employment indicators

Table A-10. Selected unemployment indicators, seasonally adjusted

Table A-11. Unemployed persons by reason for unemployment

Table A-12. Unemployed persons by duration of unemployment

Table A-13. Employed and unemployed persons by occupation, not seasonally adjusted

Table A-14. Unemployed persons by industry and class of worker, not seasonally adjusted

Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization

Table A-16. Persons not in the labor force and multiple jobholders by sex, not seasonally adjusted

Table B-1. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail

Table B-2. Average weekly hours and overtime of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted

Table B-3. Average hourly and weekly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted

Table B-4. Indexes of aggregate weekly hours and payrolls for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted

Table B-5. Employment of women on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted

Table B-6. Employment of production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)

Table B-7. Average weekly hours and overtime of production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)

Table B-8. Average hourly and weekly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)

Table B-9. Indexes of aggregate weekly hours and payrolls for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)

Access to historical data for the “A” tables of the Employment Situation Release

Access to historical data for the “B” tables of the Employment Situation Release

Source: bls.gov