Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

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                            Statement of

                          Erica L. Groshen
                            Commissioner
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics
                         Friday, May 2, 2014



      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000 in April, and 
the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 
percent. Job gains were widespread, led by employment growth in 
professional and business services, retail trade, food services 
and drinking places, and construction. 
      
      Incorporating the revisions for February and March, which 
increased total nonfarm employment by 36,000 on net, monthly job 
gains have averaged 238,000 over the past 3 months. In the 12 
months prior to April, employment growth averaged 190,000 per 
month.
      
      Employment in professional and business services rose by 
75,000 over the month. The industry had added an average of 
55,000 jobs per month in the 12 months prior to April. Job 
growth continued in temporary help services, which was up by 
24,000 over the month. Employment increased in management of 
companies (+12,000) and in computer systems design (+9,000). 
      
      Retail trade employment rose by 35,000 in April, with 
modest gains throughout much of the industry. Employment in 
retail trade has grown by 327,000 over the past 12 months. 
Wholesale trade employment increased by 16,000 in April.
      
      Employment continued to expand in food services and 
drinking places in April (+33,000). The industry has added 
337,000 jobs over the year. 
      
      Employment in construction rose by 32,000 in April. 
Construction has added 189,000 jobs over the past year, with 
almost three-fourths of the gain occurring over the past 6 
months. In April, job gains occurred in heavy construction and 
in residential building. 
      
      Health care added 19,000 jobs in April, in line with 
average job growth over the prior 12 months. 
      
      Mining employment rose by 10,000 in April, largely in 
support activities for mining (+7,000). April’s job growth in 
mining was much stronger than the average monthly employment 
change (+3,000) over the prior 12 months. 
      
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls were unchanged at $24.31 in April. Over the past 12 
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.9 percent. From 
March 2013 to March 2014, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban 
Consumers (CPI-U) rose by 1.5 percent.
      
      Turning now to our survey of households, the unemployment 
rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent in April. The 
number of unemployed persons fell by 733,000 to 9.8 million. 
Both measures had shown little movement over the prior 4 months.  
Over the year, the jobless rate declined by 1.2 percentage 
points, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 1.9 
million.
      
      In April, the number of unemployed reentrants and new 
entrants declined by 417,000 and 126,000, respectively. 
Reentrants are persons who previously worked but were not in the 
labor force prior to beginning their job search, and new 
entrants are unemployed persons who have never worked.
      
      The civilian labor force dropped by 806,000 in April, 
following a gain (+503,000) in March. The labor force 
participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 62.8 percent 
in April. The participation rate has shown no clear trend in 
recent months and currently is the same as it was this past 
October. 
      
      Among persons not in the labor force in April--that is, 
neither working nor looking for work--2.2 million were 
classified as marginally attached to the labor force, down 
slightly from a year earlier. 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 783,000 in April, little changed from a year 
earlier.
      
      Our analysis of the household survey data suggests that the 
April labor force decline was due mostly to fewer people 
entering the labor force than usual, rather than to more people 
exiting the labor force. As always, additional months of data 
may provide further insights into recent labor market 
developments.
      
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000 in 
April, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent.




Last Modified Date: May 02, 2014
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