Not seasonally adjusted benchmarks (will post graphic later):
- Total nonfarm — 1.25 million
- Private sector — 1.225 million
These benchmarks would barely exceed what was seen in 2011, so the bar isn’t unrealistically high.
What else to watch for:
- Revisions to payroll jobs added in prior months
- Changes in average hours worked
- Full/part-time workers changes
- Average hourly and weekly pay increases (first quarter was very flat here)
The report will be here at 8:30 a.m.
HERE IT IS (full HTML permanent link): Pending a look at the seasonal conversions, it looks like ADP was a pretty good predictor this time —
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 160,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and financial activities. Job losses continued in mining.
Household Survey Data
In April, the unemployment rate held at 5.0 percent, and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 7.9 million. Both measures have shown little movement since August.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics increased to 6.1 percent in April, while the rates for adult men (4.6 percent), adult women (4.5 percent), teenagers (16.0 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (8.8 percent), and Asians (3.8 percent) showed little or no change.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 150,000 to 2.1 million in April. These individuals accounted for 25.7 percent of the unemployed.
In April, the labor force participation rate decreased to 62.8 percent, and the employment-population ratio edged down to 59.7 percent.
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 160,000 in April. Over the prior 12 months, employment growth had averaged 232,000 per month. In April, employment gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and financial activities, while mining continued to lose jobs.
Professional and business services added 65,000 jobs in April. The industry added an average of 51,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months. In April, job gains occurred in management and technical consulting services (+21,000) and in computer systems design and related services (+7,000).
In April, health care employment rose by 44,000, with most of the increase occurring in hospitals (+23,000) and ambulatory health care services (+19,000). Over the year, health care employment has increased by 502,000.
Employment in financial activities rose by 20,000 in April, with credit intermediation and related activities (+8,000) contributing to the gain. Financial activities has added 160,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
Mining employment continued to decline in April (-7,000). Since reaching a peak in September 2014, employment in mining has decreased by 191,000, with more than three-quarters of the loss in support activities for mining.
Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little or no change over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in April. The manufacturing workweek and overtime remained unchanged at 40.7 hours and 3.3 hours, respectively. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was up by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.
In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 8 cents to $25.53, following an increase of 6 cents in March. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. In April, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $21.45.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from +245,000 to +233,000, and the change for March was revised from +215,000 to +208,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 19,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 200,000 per month.
So the overall result is that (seasonally adjusted) an estimated 141,000 more Americans (160K minus 19K in downard revisions to prior months) were working in April than were working in March.
Not seasonally adjusteed benchmark results:
- Total nonfarm — 1.057 million vs. 1.25 million benchmark
- Private sector — 1.051 million vs. 1.225 million benchmark
A first back-of-envelope glance, the seasonal conversions seem okay.
Here’s the graphic:
April’s numbers are a pullback from the previous two years. Those who cite the low unemployment rate to say “that’s okay” need to reminded that the participation metrics stink, and that as long as they do, the official unemployment rate doesn’t truly reflect the slack in the labor force and its ability to expand under the right economic policies.
UPDATE (reference is to seasonally adjusted data unless otherwise indicated):
- The malaise indicators got worse with a vengeance: Civilian labor force down 362K, Employment (per Household Survey) down 316K, Labor force participation rate and Employment-population ratio both drop 0.2 percentage points, not in labor force up by 562K to over 94 million.
- The Black/AA unemployment rate for men shot up from 8.7 percent to 9.5 percent, while the rate for Black/AA women plunged to 6.9 percent from 8.0 percent.
- Full-time employment dropped by 253K (Household Survey), and is only 53K higher than January; part-timers dropped by 21K.
- Goods-producing employment changes were all in single digits: Construction, +1K; Manufacturing, following 45K in losses the previous two months, +4K; Mining, -8K.
- The overwhelming sense here is that health care employment is shooting up (+502K in past 12 months, up 910K since December 2013 before Obamacare took effect) because of an increase in bureaucracy, not an increase in value of services provided.
- Temp employment, which dove in January, has added 19K in the past two months.
- Average hourly and average weekly pay metrics improved, but in a slightly longer context, average weekly pay of $870.79 is only $2.64 greater than January — a 0.3 percent increase in three months. This metric’s trajectory is one to watch closely in the coming months, because the April uptick needs to be sustained.
Overall, the report is discouraging, but not disheartening. The question, to which we don’t know the answer, is whether it’s a decelerating blip or a downward trend. Six months of weak GDP growth would seem to point to the former.
UPDATE: Zero Hedge breaks down the Household Survey employment decline (they all have separate seasonal calculations, so they don’t add up to the over -316K employment change) —
- 16-19 years old, +3K
- 20-24, -155K
- 25-54, -284K
- 55 and older, +166K
Per ZH, “This means that while total workers aged between 16 and 54 are still some 3.5 million below where they were in December of 2007. During the same period workers aged 55 and over have grown by a whopping 8.1 million to a new all time high of 34.4 million,”