U.S. Job Growth Exceeds Expectations In April, Unemployment Rate Unchanged

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Employment in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of April, according to a closely watched report released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The report showed non-farm payroll employment surged by 428,000 jobs in April, matching the revised jump seen in March.

Economists had expected employment to climb by 391,000 jobs compared to the addition of 431,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The Labor Department described the job growth as widespread, led by gains in the leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing sectors.

Meanwhile, report showed the unemployment rate came in unchanged at 3.6 percent versus expectations the rate would edge down to 3.5 percent.

The unemployment came in unchanged as the labor force shrank by 363,000, while the household survey measure of employment declined by 353,000.

“Those household survey measures are notoriously volatile from month-to-month and some payback was probably inevitable after the run of very strong gains this year in both the labor force and household employment,” said Paul Ashworth, Chief U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.

He added, “Even after those declines, household employment is only ~750,000 off the pre-pandemic level, whereas non-farm payroll employment is still 1,150,000 off.”

The report also showed average hourly earnings rose by $0.10 or 0.3 percent to $31.85 in April. The annual rate of wage edged down to 5.5 percent in April from 5.6 percent in March.

“Overall, with labor market conditions still this strong – including very rapid wage growth – we doubt that the Fed is going to abandon its hawkish plans because of the current bout of weakness in equities,” Ashworth said.

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