USA: job creation stronger than expected in April

The Department of Labor lists 428,000 new jobs while analysts expected just under 400,000.

The job market confirmed its solidity in April, with an unemployment rate stable at 3.6% and above all stronger than expected job creations, according to data from the Labor Department published on Friday.

In total, employers added 428,000 new jobs to the economy, particularly in the leisure, manufacturing and transport sectors. This is more than the 395,000 jobs that were expected by a consensus of analysts.

The unemployment rate remained at 3.6%, close to its February 2020 level, i.e. just before the spread of the pandemic when it was at 3.5%, its lowest level since 1969.

In addition, the number of unemployed remained “essentially unchanged at 5.9 million,” the ministry noted in its statement.

The unemployment rate for black or African Americans also fell last month, to 5.9% from 6.2% in March. But it remains much higher than that of whites (3.2%, unchanged) and that of Hispanics (4.1%, down 0.1 point).

The ministry further notes that “the activity rate indicating the share of the population employed or looking for work has decreased slightly compared to March”.

Both the labor market participation rate, at 62.2%, and the employment-to-population ratio, at 60.0%, changed little over the past month, and are thus each lower by 1.2 percentage points. percentage at their February 2020 level.

For the past year, companies have been facing chronic labor shortages after many retirements during the pandemic, and massive resignations each month to find better working conditions. According to another recent survey by the Ministry of Labor, there are more than 11 million jobs available in the country, a record.

This has fueled rising wages as employees scramble to retain employees and attract new ones.

Wages thus rose again in April, +0.3% compared to March. But over one year, they increased by 5.5%, a leap however insufficient to offset record inflation.

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