U.S. Unemployment Down to 8.1% in April, Nonfarm Payrolls Up 115K

U.S. Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 115,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care, but declined in transportation and warehousing.

Both the number of unemployed persons (12.5 million) and the unemployment rate (8.1 percent) changed little in April.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.5 percent), adult women (7.4 percent), teenagers (24.9 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and Hispanics (10.3 percent) showed little or no change in April, while the rate for blacks (13.0 percent) declined over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.2 percent in April (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.1 million in April. These individuals made up 41.3 percent of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed has fallen by 759,000.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 115,000 in April. This increase followed a gain of 154,000 in March and gains averaging 252,000 per month for December to February. In April, employment rose in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care. Transportation and warehousing lost jobs over the month.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 62,000 in April. Retail trade employment rose by 29,000 over the month. Health care continued to add jobs (+19,000) in April. Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up (+20,000) in April. Manufacturing employment continued to trend up (+16,000) in April, with job growth in fabricated metal products (+6,000) and machinery (+5,000).Transportation and warehousing lost 17,000 jobs in April. Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and government changed little in April.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from +240,000 to +259,000, and the change for March was revised from +120,000 to +154,000.

TradingEconomics.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
5/4/2012 1:41:07 PM