THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — APRIL 2011
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 244,000 in April, and the unemployment rate
edged up to 9.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Job gains occurred in several service-providing industries, manufacturing,
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons, at 13.7 million, changed little in
April. The unemployment rate edged up from 8.8 to 9.0 percent over the
month but was 0.8 percentage point lower than in November. The labor
force also was little changed in April. (See table A-1.)
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. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
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. (See table A-12.)
The civilian labor force participation rate was 64.2 percent for the
fourth consecutive month. The employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent,
changed little in April. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons
(sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little
changed over the month, at 8.6 million. These individuals were working
part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were
unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)
In April, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force,
about the same as a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.)
These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available
for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They
were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in
the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 989,000 discouraged workers in
April, a decline of 208,000 from a year earlier. (These data are not
seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently
looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force
in April had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey
for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
(See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 244,000 in April, and the
private sector added 268,000 jobs. Employment rose in a number of service-
providing industries, manufacturing, and mining. Since a recent low in
February 2010, total payroll employment has grown by 1.8 million. Private
sector employment has increased by 2.1 million over the same period.
(See table B-1.)
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
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 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.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained
at 34.3 hours in April. The manufacturing workweek for all employees, at
40.4 hours, also was unchanged over the month, while factory overtime
increased by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production
and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged in
April at 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls increased by 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $22.95. Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings increased by 1.9 percent. In April, average
hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees
rose by 5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $19.37. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
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.
The Employment Situation for May is scheduled to be released on Friday,
June 3, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics