Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

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.
                                
                          Statement of
                                
                           Keith Hall
                          Commissioner
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                
                           before the                                
                    Joint Economic Committee
                     UNITED STATES CONGRESS
                       Friday, May 6, 2011


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

     Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the employment and
unemployment data we released this morning.
     
     Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 244,000 in April,
and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.0 percent.  Over the last
3 months, payroll employment has risen by an average of 233,000
compared with an average of 104,000 in the prior 3 months.  In
April, employment increased in several service-providing
industries, manufacturing, and mining.
     
     Retail trade added 57,000 jobs in April.  This increase
followed 2 months in which retail employment changed little.
Over the month, job gains occurred in electronics and appliance
stores, building and garden supply stores, and automobile
dealerships.  An employment increase in general merchandise
stores (+27,000) offset a decline of similar size in March.
     
     Employment in professional and business services rose by
51,000 in April.  Since a low point in September 2009, employment
in this industry has increased by 745,000.  Several component
industries continued to add jobs in April, including management
and technical consulting services and computer systems design
services.  Employment in temporary help services was essentially
unchanged in April.
     Employment in leisure and hospitality grew by 46,000
over the month and by 151,000 in the last 3 months.  Food
services and drinking places added 27,000 jobs in April and has
accounted for nearly two-thirds of the gain in leisure and
hospitality since January.
     
     Health care employment continued to increase in April
(+37,000).  Job growth occurred in ambulatory health care and in
hospitals.
     
     In the goods-producing sector, manufacturing employment rose
by 29,000 in April.  Since December 2009, manufacturing has added
a quarter of a million jobs.  Durable-goods manufacturing has
been the source of this growth.  Over the month, job gains
continued in machinery, primary metals, and computer and
electronic products.
     
     Employment in mining increased by 11,000 in April, following
a gain of similar magnitude in March.  Most of the growth
occurred in support activities for mining.  Since a recent low
point in October 2009, mining employment has risen by 107,000.
Elsewhere in the goods-producing sector, construction employment
was about unchanged over the month.  It has shown little net
movement since early 2010, after falling sharply during the prior
3 years.
     
      Employment in state government and local government
continued to trend down in April.  Both have been losing jobs
since the second half of 2008.
     
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls increased by 3 cents in April to $22.95.  Over the past
12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.9 percent.
From March 2010 to March 2011, the Consumer Price Index for All
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose by 2.7 percent.
     
     Turning now to measures from the survey of households, the
jobless rate edged up from 8.8 to 9.0 percent in April.  However,
the rate was 0.8 percentage point lower than in November of last
year.  In April, there were 13.7 million unemployed persons,
little changed from the prior month.  The number of people
unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by 242,000 in April.
The number jobless for 27 weeks and over declined by 283,000 to
5.8 million.
     
     Other household indicators showed little or no change over
the month.  The labor force participation rate has been 64.2
percent since January.  The employment-population ratio was
little changed at 58.4 percent in April.  Despite increases in
household survey employment since late 2009, the ratio has shown
little movement.  Among the employed, the number of individuals
working part time who preferred full-time work was little changed
at 8.6 million.
     
     In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 244,000 in
April, and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.0 percent.
     
     My colleagues and I now would be glad to answer your
questions.
     
     

Last Modified Date: May 06, 2011
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