US Unemployment Rate Falls To Near 10-Year Low


US unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent in April 2017 from 4.5 percent in the previous month, better than market expectations of 4.6 percent. It was the lowest jobless rate since May 2007, as the number of unemployed persons declined by 146 thousand to 7.1 million and the labor force participation rate edged down to 62.9 percent from an 11-month high of 63 percent in March.

Both the unemployment rate, at 4.4 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 7.1 million, changed little in April. Over the year, the unemployment rate has declined by 0.6 percentage point, and the number of unemployed has fallen by 854,000.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men declined to 4.0 percent in April. The jobless rates for adult women (4.1 percent), teenagers (14.7 percent), Whites (3.8 percent), Blacks (7.9 percent), Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (5.2 percent) showed little change. 

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.6 million in April and accounted for 22.6 percent of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 433,000. 

The labor force participation rate was 62.9 percent, changed little in April and has shown little movement over the past year. The employment-population ratio was 60.2 percent, was also little changed over the month but was up by 0.5 percentage point since December. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined by 281,000 to 5.3 million in April. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs. Over the past 12 months, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons has decreased by 698,000. 

There were 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by  181,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 455,000 discouraged workers in April, down by 113,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are  available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 

US Unemployment Rate Falls To Near 10-Year Low


BLS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
5/5/2017 12:46:14 PM