April jobs report doesn’t tell the whole story – Sherman Denison Herald Democrat

by | May 12, 2022 | Jobs

The Wall Street Journal
The 428,000 net new jobs last month in the Labor Department’s Friday report is mildly encouraging since every major industry added workers. But the report also contains a warning that inflationary pressure may be starting to hurt the labor market.
While the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6%, the labor participation rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 62.2% and total employment declined by 353,000. Numbers from the household survey can fluctuate from month to month. But labor participation and the workforce have been trending up since January 2021 as lockdowns eased and vaccines rolled out. April represented the biggest labor participation decline since September 2020.
What happened? Demand for workers isn’t falling, as nearly every employer survey shows businesses are desperate to hire. This week’s JOLTS report estimated a record 11.5 million job openings in March. The National Federation of Independent Business says 47% of small business owners reported job openings they couldn’t fill last month.
Perhaps the answer is that hourly earnings rose a mere 0.3% in April. While wages are up 5.5% from a year ago, increases have slowed over the past few months. This may be partly due to employers hiring more lower-wage workers, which may reduce average earnings. Some may also be str …

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