April 2024 Employment Summary

  • On May 31, 2024

As we approach the halfway mark of 2024, the job market is changing and moving along with us. Learn more about employment expectations based on data from our latest employment summary. Staff Solve strives to assist employers and job seekers not only with job market information in this job summary and in the hiring process, but also with the overall economic picture of employment trends in the United States and possible factors involved.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 in April, and the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, in social assistance, and in transportation and warehousing.

The unemployment rate changed little at 3.9 percent and the number of unemployed people also remained at 6.5 million. The unemployment rate has remained in a narrow range of 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent since August 2023.

In April, the labor force participation rate held at 62.7 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 60.2 percent, changed little this month. The number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons, at 4.5 million, changed little in April. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

The number of persons in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.6 million in April, demonstrating little change. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job. Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force remained steady at 1.6 million in April. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, at 362,000, was little changed in April.

Construction employment changed little in April (+9,000), following an increase of 40,000 in March. Over the prior 12 months, construction had added an average of 22,000 jobs per month.

Employment was little changed over the month in other major industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; information; financial activities; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; and other services.

In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents, or .2 percent, to $34.75. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.9 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 6 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $29.83. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 34.3 hours. The average work week for production and nonsupervisory employees decreased by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised down by 34,000, from +270,000 to +236,000, and the change for March was revised up by 12,000, from +303,000 to +315,000. With these revisions, employment in February and March combined is 22,000 lower than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.

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