MBA Chart of the Week: Average Monthly Payroll Growth


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 211,000 jobs were created in the U.S. in April. This brings year to date average monthly employment growth to 185,000, on par with the average in 2016, and lowered the unemployment rate to 4.4 percent, a rate last observed in 2007.

This report will be reassuring to some following a weak March employment reading and a lackluster report on first quarter GDP with annualized growth of just 0.7 percent. First quarter GDP numbers have been unreliable during the recovery, perhaps due to changing seasonality patterns.

As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee decided to leave short-term rates unchanged last week following its May meeting. The statement characterized job growth and consumption as “solid” (which the jobs report substantiates) but noted that its preferred measure of core inflation continues to run a bit below its 2 percent objective.

MBA continues to forecast that the FOMC will raise rates at its meeting in June and again in September.

(Lynn Fisher is vice president of research and economics with MBA; she can be reached at Joel Kan associate vice president of economic forecasting with MBA; he can be reached at