The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its April 2015 jobs report today:
Employment Situation Summary
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — APRIL 2015
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and construction. Mining employment continued to decline….
Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization
U-3 Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (official unemployment rate) April 2015 5.4%
U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force April 2015 10.8%
Payrolls rose 223,000 last month, in line with expectations, and the jobless rate ticked down to 5.4%, a seven-year low. March’s already low payroll gain was revised down to only 85,000; combining that with February’s revision takes payrolls down 39,000 over those months. As shown below, the March outlier takes the three-month average down to about 190,000 jobs per month over the past three months, a slower trend of payroll gains then prevailed last year.
The jobless rate ticked down slightly, and for the “right” reasons: more jobs vs. fewer people in the labor force. The closely watched (i.e., by labor market nerds and Fed watchers) labor force participation rate ticked up a tenth to 62.8%. At this point, it’s fair to conclude that the lfpr has stabilized at around 63%, where it’s sat for well over a year now….
Job market bounces back, unemployment inches lower
05/08/15 08:44 AM-Updated 05/08/15 09:10 AM
By Steve Benen
….About a month ago, the jobs report for March 2015 was a bitter disappointment, raising questions about the overall strength of the job market and the sustainability of the recent jobs boom. This morning, many hoped to find out whether it was a one-month fluke or the start of something more alarming.
It’s starting to look like the former is true. The new report from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in April, which is almost exactly what experts predicted. The overall unemployment rate inched lower to 5.4%, the lowest it’s been since May 2008.
The revisions were a mixed bag. February’s job totals were revised up, from 264,000 to 266,000, while March’s totals turned out to be even worse, dropping from 126,000 to 85,000.
All told, the U.S. has added 2.98 million jobs over the last 12 months. April was the 55th consecutive month of positive job growth – the best stretch since 1939 – and the 62nd consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth, which is the longest on record….
That’s a heck of a lot better than the trends in the Fall of 2008 or a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.