PeopleScout Jobs Report Analysis – April 2022

U.S. employers added 428,000 jobs in April, marking a full year with monthly job growth above 400,000. The unemployment remained at 3.6%. Year-over-year wage growth remained high at 5.5%.

jobs report infographic

The Numbers

428,000: U.S. Employers added 428,000 jobs in April.

3.6%: The unemployment rate remained at 3.6%.

5.5%: Wages grew 5.5% over the past year.

The Good

The New York Times reports that the U.S. economy has now regained 95% of the 22 million jobs lost at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. All major sectors saw growth, with the largest growth in trade, transportation and utilities, and leisure and hospitality. The unemployment rate remained near record low levels for the second straight month.

The Bad

Despite all of the good news in April’s report, the labor force contracted for the first time in seven months as the labor force participation rate fell from 62.4% to 62.2%. This accounts for an estimated 363,000 people.

However, as MarketWatch reports, it may be a fluke in the household survey, which can be volatile, and the results are often revised in later months. Before April’s report, the labor force has grown by an average of 315,000 people each month over the last year. Additionally, the decline in the labor force was most significant in workers under the age of 25.

However, the labor force participation rate is still below pre-pandemic levels, which creates an additional challenge for employers. There are currently more open jobs than there are unemployed people.

The Unknown

The jobs report is a bright spot for the economy as inflation continues to cause issues for American families. As the Washington Post reports, the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark rate by half a percentage point with the hope of curbing inflation. While wage growth remains high, workers are actually seeing decreasing purchasing power as the war in Ukraine and continued pandemic-related supply chain issues continue to drive prices higher. Experts will be watching closely to see how the economy responds.

Post by Nicole Fuqua