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Economic News Release

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 Standard Time.

                            Statement of

                          Erica L. Groshen
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics
                        Friday, May 8, 2015

      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in April, after 
edging up in March (+85,000). The unemployment rate was 
essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent in April. Employment rose 
over the month in professional and business services, health 
care, and construction. Job losses continued in mining.

      Incorporating the revisions for February and March, which 
reduced nonfarm employment by 39,000, on net, monthly job gains 
have averaged 191,000 over the past 3 months. In the 12 months 
prior to April, employment growth averaged 257,000 per month.

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

      Employment in health care increased by 45,000 in April and 
has grown by 390,000 over the past year. Job growth was 
widespread in the industry in April, with gains in ambulatory 
health care services (+25,000), in hospitals (+12,000), and in 
nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000). 

      Construction employment rose by 45,000 in April, after 
changing little in the prior month. Employment in specialty 
trade contractors increased by 41,000 in April, with gains about 
evenly split between the residential and nonresidential 
components. Employment declined by 8,000 in nonresidential 
building construction.  

      Manufacturing employment was essentially unchanged for the 
third month in a row. The industry had added an average of 
18,000 jobs per month from January 2014 to January 2015.

      Mining employment fell by 15,000 in April, with job losses 
in support activities for mining (-10,000) and in oil and gas 
extraction (-3,000). Employment in mining has fallen by 49,000 
thus far in 2015, more than offsetting the 41,000 jobs gained 
during 2014. 

      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 3 cents in April to $24.87. Over the past 12 
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.2 percent. From 
March 2014 to March 2015, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban 
Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged (on a seasonally adjusted 

      Turning now to data from our survey of households, both the 
unemployment rate, at 5.4 percent, and the number of unemployed 
persons, at 8.5 million, were essentially unchanged in April. 
These measures are down by 0.8 percentage point and 1.1 million, 
respectively, over the year. Among those unemployed in April, 
29.0 percent had been jobless for 27 weeks or longer. Both the 
number of long-term unemployed persons and their share of total 
unemployment have fallen over the year.

      The labor force participation rate was little changed at 
62.8 percent in April and has remained within a narrow range of 
62.7 percent to 62.9 percent since April 2014. The employment-
population ratio was 59.3 percent for the fourth month in a row. 

      Among those employed in April, 6.6 million were at work 
part time for economic reasons, little changed over the month. 
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 full-time work.

      Among people who were neither working nor looking for work 
in April, 2.1 million were classified as marginally attached to 
the labor force, about unchanged over the year. These 
individuals 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. The number of discouraged 
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that 
no jobs were available for them, was 756,000 in April, also 
about unchanged over the year.

      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in 
April, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 
5.4 percent.

Last Modified Date: May 08, 2015