The United States added 428,000 jobs in April

US employers added 428,000 jobs in April, the same as in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. This is undeniably good news: America still has 1.2 million jobs in the hole since the early days of Covid, when almost 22 million jobs disappeared in the span of two months.
The unemployment rate, which was expected to fall to a pandemic-era low, held steady at 3.6%. That’s just a tick above the pre-pandemic level of 3.5%, which coincided with a 50-year low first set in 2019.

It was the 16th consecutive month of job growth and the 12th consecutive month in which more than 400,000 jobs were added, but the gains have begun to moderate.

Last month, most positions were added in the leisure and hospitality industry. Manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing also added a significant number of jobs.

Workers also continued to return to their offices: The percentage of Americans telecommuting due to the pandemic fell to 7.7% in April from 10% in March.

getting back to normal

Although last month’s number was higher than the 391,000 that economists had predicted, slowing job growth It’s not a surprise

“A slower 2022 lies ahead,” said Daniel Zhao, a senior economist at Glassdoor.

Signs of cooling in the labor market are all over the April report: The labor force participation rate, for example, fell to 62.2% from 62.4% in March, falling for both men and women.

The moderation in the employment recovery is in part due to the fact that the job market has come a long way and was bound to experience a downturn at some point. And it’s also due in part to labor shortages that make it harder to find workers to hire.

As companies struggle to find staff, they keep raising wages to attract workers. Average hourly earnings rose another 10 cents, or 0.3%, last month to $31.85. Wages have increased steadily since June 2020. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings increased 5.5%.

“April’s report might not be as stellar as recent releases, but it still shows a very strong job market,” Indeed’s director of economic research Nick Bunker said in emailed comments. “The current pace of job creation is remarkable given how tight the job market is.”

Before the pandemic, the US economy was adding, on average, fewer than 200,000 jobs during the Trump administration. So the constant reminder from the Biden administration that the economy remains strong is undoubtedly true.

Inequalities Persist

The pandemic recession came and went in an instant. But that doesn’t mean American workers didn’t feel the pain.

“We are on track to return to pre-pandemic employment levels in June, which would put us about two and a half years after the start of the pandemic,” Zhao said. By comparison, it took twice as long after the 2008 financial crisis to return to pre-recession employment levels.

That said, not everything is back to normal in the United States.

Unemployment is still much higher for non-white workers, for example. At 5.9%, the unemployment rate for blacks fell to the lowest level since November 2019 in April, but is still close to double the 3.2% rate for white workers.
And while the number of employed men over the age of 20 has already surpassed the February 2020 figure, women in the same age group are still 1.1 million employed below their pre-pandemic level.
On top of that, American households are also struggling with high inflation brought on by the pandemic recovery, supply chain chaos, and the current geopolitical environment.
The Federal Reserve, which must keep prices stable and employment as close to the maximum as possible, is struggling with one of its tasks. The central bank began raising interest rates in March and will begin to reduce its balance sheet from June. At least for now, you need not worry that aggressive monetary policy tightening will lead to a recession with high unemployment.

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