Employment Rises by 428,000 in April 2022

Unemployment rate held at 3.6%; job growth was widespread across industries

The U.S. economy added 428,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in April 2022, as the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6%. Job growth was widespread, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast job growth of 390,00 in April. Those surveyed by Dow Jones expected the figure to be 400,000, with the unemployment rate declining to 3.5%. April marks the eleventh consecutive month in which 400,000 or more jobs were added. However, job growth is expected to slow in the upcoming months, perhaps down to about 100,000 per month.

Key Takeaways

  • The U.S. economy added 428,000 new jobs in April 2022.
  • The was between 7.0% and 9.7% above the estimates.
  • The unemployment rate held steady 3.6%.
  • Average hourly wages rose by 0.3% from March and by 5.5% year over year.

Unemployment Rate Steady

The unemployment rate in April 2022 of 3.6% was unchanged from March. The number of unemployed persons was largely unchanged at 5.9 million. In February 2020, prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate was 3.5%, and the number of unemployed persons was 5.7 million.

Temporary Layoffs Up, Permanent Job Losses Stable

Among the unemployed, those on temporary layoff were 853,000 April 2022, up by 8.4% from 787,000 in March. Permanent job losers numbered 1.4 million in April 2022, unchanged from March. The pre-pandemic figures in February 2020 were 780,000 and 1.3 million, respectively.

Long-Term Unemployment Up

The number of long-term unemployed (people who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more) were 1.483 million in April, up by 3.9% from 1.428 million in March. The April figure is 362,000 higher than the pre-pandemic measure in February 2020. The long-term unemployed represented 25.2% of the total number of unemployed in April 2022.

Labor Force Participation Down Slightly

The labor force participation rate in April was 62.2%, down from 62.4% in March. The employment-to-population ratio also fell slightly, from 60.1% to 60.0%. The pre-pandemic figures in February 2020 were 63.4% and 61.2%, respectively.

Number of Potential Job Seekers Rises

The number of persons who were not in the labor force but who would like to take a job rose by 112,000 (2.0%) to 5.859 million in April 2022. This figure was 5.0 million in February 2020. These people were not classified as unemployed since they either were not actively looking for work during the four weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job. The number of discouraged workers, those who believed that no jobs were available for them, rose from 373,000 in March to 456,000 in April.

Earnings Up, Working Hours Down

In April 2022, the average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by just 10 cents (0.3%) to $31.85. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.5%.

Meanwhile, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.6 hours in April. In manufacturing, the average workweek fell by 0.2 hour to 40.5 hours, and overtime held at 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls held at 34.1 hours.

Biggest Job Gains by Industry

The biggest job gains for April 2022 were concentrated in these industries: leisure and hospitality (+78,000 jobs), manufacturing (+55,000), transportation and warehousing (+52,000), professional and business services (+41,000), financial activities (+35,000), healthcare (+34,000), retail trade (+29,000), wholesale trade (+22,000), and mining (+9,000).

The industries listed above combined to add 355,000 jobs, or 82.9% of the April total of 428,000. Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including construction, information, other services, and government.

Article Sources

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  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Employment Situation Summary."

  2. USA Today. "Economy Adds 428,000 Jobs in April Even as COVID Cases Edge Higher, Unemployment Is Unchanged at 3.6%."

  3. CNBC. "Jobs Growth Should Be Strong in April but Hot Pace Could Slow in Coming Months as Wages Climb."

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