Jobs Report: U.S. Economy Adds 175,000 in April

(Image courtesy of Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 in April, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.9%. Job gains occurred in health care, social assistance and transportation and warehousing.

The change in total nonfarm payroll enrollment for February was revised down by 34,000 from 270,000 to 236,000 and March was revised upward by 12,000, from 303,000 to 315,000.

“Of note, average hourly earnings grew 3.9% from a year ago, a third consecutive deceleration in wage growth and the slowest since May 2021,” said Mortgage Bankers Association VP and Deputy Chief Economist Joel Kan. “This slowdown in wage growth indicates there has been some cooling in hiring and will help ease some of the upward pressure on service sector inflation, which has been one of the drivers keeping overall inflation elevated. This is consistent with data published earlier this week showing fewer job openings and lower quit rates.”

“Residential building construction jobs are at the highest level since 2007, while non-residential are the highest on record (back to 1990). Remember that builders have faced a chronic shortage of skilled labor and that the number of homes under construction remains near historic highs,” said First American Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi. “Continued growth in residential construction jobs, even modest growth as was this case in April, supports further improvement in the pace of homebuilding because building a home does not readily lend itself to outsourcing and automation.”

This jobs report also follows a decision on May 1 by the Federal Reserve to hold rates steady.

“The Fed indicated earlier this week that they are in no hurry to cut rates given the persistence of higher inflation. However, today’s report might give them some leeway to do so if the job market continues to weaken and if inflation trends start to follow,” Kan noted.