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US April job number UP; unemployment % UP! :-|

Employers claimed that they added 244, 000 jobs in April 2011, but workers say that they LOST 190,000 pushing the employment rate up to 9.0%, from 8.8% in March!

Heidi Shierholz, economist for the Economic Policy Institute notes that the two major surveys, one based on business and government payroll data and the other, which surveys American households, do not agree on whether April was positive or negative! The unemployment rate often rises when the job market improves and previously discouraged workers return to the labor force. In April, an additional 113,000 people who were not counted previously among the unemployed, reentered the labor force.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the number of unemployed people changed little in April and stayed right around 13.7 million. The labor force ALSO was little changed in April.

“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men
(8.8 percent), adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (24.9 percent),
whites (8.0 percent), blacks (16.1 percent), and Hispanics (11.8 percent)
showed little change in April. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.4 percent,
not seasonally adjusted.”

“The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by
242,000 in April. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for
27 weeks and over) declined by 283,000 to 5.8 million; their share of
unemployment declined to 43.4 percent.”

“The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by
242,000 in April. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for
27 weeks and over) declined by 283,000 to 5.8 million; their share of
unemployment declined to 43.4 percent.”

The number of people who were employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes called “involuntary part-time workers”) changed little over April, remaining at 8.6 million. Among the 2.5 million persons who were marginally attached to the labor force (about the same as a year earlier) were 989,000 discouraged workers (down 208,000 from a year ago) and 1.5 million who had not searched for work in the 4 weeks before the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report had the following to say about employment in various sectors:

In April, employment in retail trade rose by 57,000. Within the industry, employment in general merchandise stores increased by 27,000, offsetting a decline of similar magnitude in the prior month. Elsewhere in retail trade, April job gains occurred in electronics and appliance stores (+6,000), building material and garden supply stores (+6,000), and automobile dealers (+5,000).

Employment in professional and business services continued to expand in April, with an increase of 51,000. Job gains occurred in management and technical consulting services (+11,000) and in computer systems design and related services (+8,000). Employment in temporary help services was little changed over the month, following an increase of 34,000 in March.

Health care continued to add jobs in April (+37,000). Within health care, job gains continued in ambulatory health care (+22,000) and hospitals (+10,000).

Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to increase in April (+46,000). Over the past 3 months, this industry added 151,000 jobs, with nearly two-thirds of the growth in food services and drinking places.

Employment in both state government and local government continued to trend down, with April losses concentrated in the non-educational components. Elsewhere in the service-providing sector, employment in information, financial activities, and transportation and warehousing changed little in April.

In the goods-producing sector of the economy, manufacturing employment rose by 29,000 in April. Since reaching an employment low in December 2009, manufacturing has added 250,000 jobs, including 141,000 in 2011. Over the month, employment growth continued in machinery (+5,000), primary metals (+4,000), and computer and electronic products (+4,000).

Mining added 11,000 jobs in April. More than half of the gain occurred in support activities for mining. Since a recent low point in October 2009, employment in mining has increased by 107,000.

Construction employment was about unchanged in April. This industry has shown little net movement since early 2010, after having fallen sharply during the prior 3 years.”

There were also UPWARD revisions for employment in February and March 2011. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from +194,000 to +235,000, and the change for March was revised from +216,000 to +221,000.

-Bill at

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