THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- APRIL 2014
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000, and the unemployment rate
fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. Employment gains were widespread, led by job growth
in professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking
places, and construction.
Household Survey Data
In April, the unemployment rate fell from 6.7 percent to 6.3 percent, and the
number of unemployed persons, at 9.8 million, decreased by 733,000. Both
measures had shown little movement over the prior 4 months. Over the year, the
unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 1.2
percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates declined in April for adult
men (5.9 percent), adult women (5.7 percent), teenagers (19.1 percent), whites
(5.3 percent), blacks (11.6 percent), and Hispanics (7.3 percent). The jobless
rate for Asians was 5.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed over
the year. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
In April, the number of unemployed reentrants and new entrants declined by
417,000 and 126,000, respectively. (Reentrants are persons who previously
worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning their job search,
and new entrants are persons who have never worked.) The number of job losers
and persons who completed temporary jobs decreased by 253,000 to 5.2 million.
(See table A-11.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more)
declined by 287,000 in April to 3.5 million; these individuals accounted for
35.3 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term
unemployed has decreased by 908,000. (See table A-12.)
The civilian labor force dropped by 806,000 in April, following an increase of
503,000 in March. The labor force participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage
point to 62.8 percent in April. The participation rate has shown no clear trend
in recent months and currently is the same as it was this past October. The
employment-population ratio showed no change over the month (58.9 percent) and
has changed little over the year. (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 7.5 million in April.
These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back
or because they were unable to find full-time work. (See table A-8.)
In April, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down
slightly 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 783,000 discouraged workers in April,
little changed 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 increased by 288,000 in April. Job growth
had averaged 190,000 per month over the prior 12 months. In April, employment
growth was widespread, led by gains in professional and business services,
retail trade, food services and drinking places, and construction. (See
Professional and business services added 75,000 jobs in April. Employment in
this industry had increased by an average of 55,000 per month over the prior
12 months. In April, employment growth continued in temporary help services
(+24,000), in management of companies and enterprises (+12,000), and in
computer systems design and related services (+9,000).
Retail trade employment rose by 35,000 in April. Over the past 12 months,
employment in this industry has grown by 327,000. Within retail trade, job
growth over the month occurred in food and beverage stores (+9,000), general
merchandise stores (+8,000), motor vehicle and parts dealers (+6,000), and
nonstore retailers (+4,000). Electronics and appliance stores lost 11,000
jobs in April. Wholesale trade added 16,000 jobs over the month and has added
126,000 jobs over the year.
In April, employment rose in food services and drinking places (+33,000),
about in line with its prior 12-month average gain of 28,000 per month.
In April, employment in construction grew by 32,000, with job growth in heavy
and civil engineering construction (+11,000) and residential building (+7,000).
Construction has added 189,000 jobs over the past year, with almost three-fourths
of the gain occurring in the past 6 months.
Health care employment increased by 19,000 in April, about in line with the
prior 12-month average gain of 17,000 per month. Employment in other services,
which includes membership associations and personal and laundry services, rose
by 15,000 over the month.
Mining added 10,000 jobs in April, with most of the gain in support activities
for mining (+7,000).
Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, transportation
and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, changed
little over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged
at 34.5 hours in April. The manufacturing workweek decreased by 0.2 hour in
April to 40.8 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.5 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
were unchanged at $24.31. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings
have risen by 1.9 percent. In April, average hourly earnings of private-sector
production and nonsupervisory employees edged up by 3 cents to $20.50. (See
tables B-3 and B-8.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from
+197,000 to +222,000, and the change for March was revised from +192,000 to
+203,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March were
36,000 higher than previously reported.
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