Payroll employment increases for the month of April

A carboard box with a window cut in it that says "unemployment office."

Unemployment office image from Flickr.

During the month of April, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 290,000. Despite this increase in employment, the unemployment rate in the United States increased up to 9.9 percent. Sizable employment gains occurred in manufacturing, professional and business services, health care and in leisure and hospitality. Federal government employment increased due to hiring of temporary workers for Census 2010. Since December, nonfarm payroll employment has expanded by 573,000 with 483,000 jobs added in the private sector. The vast majority of job growth occurred during the last 2 months.

Unemployment categories

Percentages of unemployed workers:

  • Less than 5 weeks, 18.3 percent
  • 5 to 14 weeks, 20.4 percent
  • 15 weeks or more, 61.3 percent
  • 15 to 26 weeks, 15.4 percent
  • 27 weeks or more, 45.9 percent

In April, the civilian labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percent to 65.2 percent, as the size of the labor force rose by 805,000. Since December, the participation rate has increased by 0.6 percent. The percentage of the U.S. population that is emploued rose to 58.8 percent during April.

Manufacturing, construction, business and temporary

Manufacturing added 44,000 jobs in April. Since December, factory employment has gone up by 101,000. Over the month, gains occurred in several durable goods industries, including fabricated metals (9,000) and machinery (7,000). Employment also grew in nondurable goods manufacturing (14,000). In April, construction employment edged up 14,000, following an increase of 26,000 in March. Over the month, nonresidential building and heavy construction added 9,000 jobs each.

Employment in professional and business services rose by 80,000 in April. Temporary help services continued to add jobs (26,000). Employment in this industry has increased by 330,000 since September 2009. Employment also rose over the month in services to buildings and dwellings 23,000 and in computer systems design 7,000.

Health care, hospitality and government

In April, health care employment grew by 20,000, including a gain of 6,000 in hospitals. Over the past year, health care employment has increased by 244,000.

Employment rose by 45,000 in leisure and hospitality over the month. Much of this increase occurred in accommodation and food services, which added 29,000 jobs. Food services employment has risen by 84,000 over the past four months, while accommodations has added 18,000 jobs over the past three months.

Federal government employment was up in April, reflecting the hiring of 66,000 temporary workers for the decennial census.

Consumer credit for first quarter declines

However, it is the health of the banking system — which can be determined by the outstanding credit and loans taken out by U.S. consumers — that provides a clearer picture of the true state of the economy and its health or distress.

From its January 2010 high of $2.746 billion in outstanding U.S. consumer credit, which most likely is due to paying down 2009 purchases during the holiday season, outstanding consumer credit has declined every month since January. Consumer credit has fallen to $2.446 billion in February and $2.433 billion in March 2010.

Those statistics show that most Americans are either saving more or cutting back spending to pay outstanding bills, thus not using credit to make as many new purchases. Thus, because of less consumer spending for the month of April, there are fewer Americans employed.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

U.S. Federal Reserve Survey of “Consumer Credit Outstanding”

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