The April jobs report has been released and the job market seems to be picking up steam. Employment numbers surpassed expectations and unemployment steadily dropped to the lowest point in 5 years. What do the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers say about the health of the economy?
The overall BLS breakdown
The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled total payroll numbers and found that 288,000 jobs were added to the overall U.S. economy, leaving the original prediction of 218,000 new jobs in the dust. Furthermore, the current April jobs report numbers outperformed the numbers from April 2013, which only saw an increase of 165,00 new jobs. On another positive note, the March jobs report was revised from 192,000 to 203,000 new jobs as the statistics settled.
On the surface, unemployment was whittled away further, but that may have been heavily dependent upon the corresponding decrease in the labor force participation rate. The April jobs report shows a significant unemployment rate decrease from 6.7 percent in March to 6.3 this last month. However, much of that outcome can be attributed to the major dip in the labor force participation rate from 63.2 percent to 62.8 percent.
Positive growth characterized the IT sector with a total increase of 11,900 jobs added to the U.S. workforce. Computer systems design lead with 8,900 new jobs, followed by the telecommunications sector with 2,900 jobs, and data processing & hosting as a distant third with 100 new jobs.
Manufacturing & Engineering
Both the manufacturing and engineering sectors held their own in the April jobs report. The cumulative increase in the manufacturing sector was 12,000 payroll jobs (11,000 jobs in durable goods and 1,000 jobs in non-durable goods). Construction, in the wake of this winter’s toll, made sizeable increases to the overall job market with a total of 32,000 jobs (11,000 building construction jobs, 10,500 heavy/civil engineering jobs, and 10,200 specialty trade contractor jobs).
Though the increases in the accounting sector were on a much smaller scale, there still was positive growth of 2,400 new payroll jobs. With the last minute panic of procrastinators to file taxes, there was bound to be an uptick. However, whether or not the accounting sector can continue to keep up with the rest of the surging market is yet to be seen.