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.
William J. Wiatrowski
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Friday, May 5, 2017
Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 211,000 in April,
and the unemployment rate, at 4.4 percent, was little changed.
Thus far this year, monthly job gains have averaged 185,000, in
line with average monthly job growth in 2016. In April, job
gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, health care and
social assistance, financial activities, and mining.
Leisure and hospitality added 55,000 jobs in April,
following little change in March. Employment in food services
and drinking places continued to trend up over the month
(+26,000) and has increased by 260,000 over the year.
In April, health care and social assistance added 37,000
jobs. Health care employment continued to trend up over the
month (+20,000). This is in line with the industry's average
monthly job growth during the first quarter of this year but is
below the average gain of 32,000 per month for 2016. Within
social assistance, employment in individual and family services
increased by 17,000 in April.
Employment in financial activities grew by 19,000 in April,
with most of the gain among insurance carriers and related
activities (+14,000). Over the year, financial activities has
added 173,000 jobs.
In April, mining employment increased by 9,000, mostly in
support activities for mining. Since a recent low last October,
mining has added 44,000 jobs, with three-fourths of the gain in
support activities for mining.
Employment in professional and business services continued
to trend up in April (+39,000). Over the year, the industry has
added 612,000 jobs.
Employment in other major industries--construction,
manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and
warehousing, information, and government--showed little change
over the month.
Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls increased by 7 cents in April. Over the past 12 months,
average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. From March
2016 to March 2017, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban
Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.4 percent (on a seasonally
Turning now to measures from the survey of households, the
unemployment rate changed little over the month but, at 4.4
percent, matched the pre-recession low reached in 2007. The
number of unemployed persons, at 7.1 million, also changed
little in April.
Among the unemployed in April, 1.6 million had been
searching for work for 27 weeks or more. These long-term
unemployed accounted for 22.6 percent of the total unemployed.
The labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent,
changed little in April and has shown little movement over the
past year. The employment-population ratio, at 60.2 percent, was
also little changed over the month but was up by 0.5 percentage
point since December.
Among employed people, the number working part time for
economic reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time
workers, decreased by 281,000 in April to 5.3 million. This
measure has continued to trend downward but remains above pre-
Among those neither working nor looking for work in April,
1.5 million people were marginally attached to the labor force,
181,000 lower than a year earlier. Discouraged workers, a subset
of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were
available for them, numbered 455,000 in April, down by 113,000
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 211,000
in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.4