Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 160,000 in April, down from last month’s downwardly revised total of 208,000. The national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.0%.
The services sector added 174,000 jobs, down from 184,000 in March. The majority of new service jobs were in professional and business services and healthcare, which added 65,000 and 44,000 jobs respectively. Over the past year, healthcare employment has increased by 502,000.
Goods producing industries shed 3,000 jobs in April – the second decrease in the last three months. Soft gains in construction and manufacturing were offset by a decline in the mining sector which shed 7,000 jobs during the month. Since peaking in September 2014 mining employment has fallen by 191,000. The construction industry added only 1,000 jobs in April, after adding 72,000 over the previous three months.
The civilian labor force participation rate fell slightly to 62.8% in April. The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, fell by 150,000 to 2.1 million. The number of discouraged workers, those who gave up looking for work, was 568,000, down 188,000 from a year ago.
Average hourly earnings grew by 8 cents to $25.53, following a 6 cent increase in March. Year-over-year earnings have grown by 2.5%.
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