The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today (5-6-22) that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 428,000 in April, following revised increases of 428,000 in March and 714,000 in February. In the first four months of 2022, nearly 2.1 million jobs were created, and monthly employment grew at an average rate of 519,000 jobs per month.
With April’s gains, nonfarm payroll employment is still down by -1.2 million, or -0.8%, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
In April, job growth was widespread, with notable job growth occurring in leisure and hospitality, which were up 78,000. However, employment in leisure and hospitality is still down by -1.4 million, or -8.5%, since February 2020. Manufacturing added 55,000 jobs in April, but since February of 2020, manufacturing employment is still down -56,000, or -0.4%. Employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 52,000 in April—674,000 above its February 2020 level. In April, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up, rising 41,000. Since February 2020, employment in the industry is up by 738,000.
The unemployment rate remained at 3.6% in April, and the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 5.9 million. These measures are little changed from their values in February 2020 when they were 5.7 million, or 3.5%, prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Construction sector employment, which includes both residential and non-residential, totaled 7.6 million in April. The residential construction sector added 3,800 jobs in April, following a 10,600 job increase in March, and has returned to its February 2020 pre-pandemic level. Non-residential construction lost -2,000 jobs during the month. As of April, 76% of non-residential construction jobs lost in March and April of 2020 have now been recovered.
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