The overall U.S. jobs market declined in April. This was a strong sign that employers are getting worried that the economy will slow next year.
The Labor Department reported Friday that non-farm payrolls rose by only a seasonally adjusted 160,000 in April. This was a drop of 55,000 jobs over last month and contrary to the 205,000 new jobs forecasted by many economists.
Several Positive Jobs Signs Including Continued Healthy Technical And Engineering Recruiting
Many R&D, engineering, scientific, IT and technical recruiters we have surveyed over the month have reported that demand continues to outpace supply for many technology positions. This is a continuing trend that our technical and engineering recruitment teams have stated over the past six months!
Additionally, April was the 67th straight month of jobs creation. This included several key sectors including:
1. Professional And Business Services, which rose by 65,000 jobs in April and an average of 55,000 new jobs over the past 12 months.
2. Health Care, which continues to grow and added 44,000 new jobs last month and 502,000 over the past 12 months.
3. Financial Activities, which added 20,000 last month and 160,000 over the past year.
Furthermore, wage increases firmed and the workweek grew longer last month, both signs of solid underlying demand for labor despite slower hiring.
Additionally, the broadest measure of unemployment, which includes Americans stuck in part-time jobs or too discouraged to look for work, fell to 9.7% from 9.8% in March. That’s the lowest rate since 2008.
However, There Are Several Major Jobs Warning Signs
The pace of job creation slowed so far in 2016 after consecutive years of robust gains. Tara Sinclair, Chief economist with job search site Indeed, warned that, “This could signal we are coming to the end of our run of [monthly] 200,000-plus average job gains.”
Moreover jobs revisions by the Labor Department showed employers added 19,000 fewer jobs in February and March than previously estimated. As a result, so far this year, job gains have averaged 192,000 a month. That’s slower than the 229,000 jobs added monthly, on average, in 2015.
The pace of job creation recently peaked in 2014, which was the best year for employment growth since 1999. Steady gains since have been consistent with a healthy labor market, and drew a contrast with sluggish economic growth that decelerated further early this year.
While the unemployment rate held steady, the size of the labor force shrank, partially reversing increases in the prior months. The share of Americans participating in the labor force fell to 62.8% in April from 63.0% in March. The measure bottomed out at 62.4% in September (the lowest level since 1977), but has crept up in recent months. The share of Americans with jobs last month was 59.7%, also a small decrease from March.
Please leave your comments below and I will reply.