Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release
Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Statement of William J. Wiatrowski Acting Commissioner Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday, May 4, 2018 Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000 in April, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent. Over the month, job gains occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, health care, and mining. Incorporating revisions for February and March, which increased nonfarm payroll employment by 30,000 on net, monthly job gains have averaged 208,000 over the past 3 months. In April, employment in professional and business services increased by 54,000. Over the year, employment in the industry has grown by 518,000. Manufacturing employment rose by 24,000 in April. The gain was largely in the durable goods component, with machinery adding 8,000 jobs and employment in fabricated metals continuing to trend up (+4,000). Over the past 12 months, manufacturing has added 245,000 jobs, with about three-fourths of the growth in durable goods industries. Employment in health care increased by 24,000 in April, about in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months. Within the industry, employment rose over the month in both ambulatory health care services (+17,000) and hospitals (+8,000). Mining employment increased by 8,000 in April, with job gains occurring primarily in support activities for mining (+7,000). Employment in mining has grown by 86,000 since a recent low point in October 2016. Employment in other major industries--construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government--showed little change in April. Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 4 cents in April to $26.84. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have grown by 2.6 percent. From March 2017 to March 2018, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.4 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis). Turning to data from the survey of households, the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent in April, following 6 consecutive months at 4.1 percent. The number of unemployed people, at 6.3 million, also edged down over the month. The number of unemployed people searching for work for 27 weeks or longer was 1.3 million in April, little changed over the month. These long-term unemployed accounted for 20.0 percent of the total unemployed. Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.3 percent, changed little in April. Among the employed, the number of people working part time for economic reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time workers, was 5.0 million in April. This measure was essentially unchanged over the month and has held fairly steady since last fall. Among those neither working nor looking for work in April, 1.4 million were considered marginally attached to the labor force, down by 172,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, numbered 408,000 in April, little different from a year earlier. (People who are marginally attached to the labor force had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months.) In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000 in April, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent.
Last Modified Date: May 04, 2018