The U.S. economy added 223k jobs in April, and even modest wage growth couldn’t derail the positivity from the lowest unemployment rate since 2008.
For the U.S. economy, it’s been a long and difficult road. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their monthly assessment of employment and found that the economy had added 223,000 jobs. Unemployment hit a 7-year low, as the rate of unemployed workers fell to just 5.4%. Throughout the course of the last year alone, nearly 1.1 million jobs have been added – giving Americans new reason to remain hopeful that their economy can recapture the glory it felt in the 90s and early 00s, amid the Internet boom.
The problem at this point though is that the initial reports have been getting modified after their release, which has made many question the validity and significance of the figures released. For example, while February was adjusted up – which was a net positive for the economy; March experienced the exact opposite fate.
It was initially reported that March saw 126,000 jobs added when that report was later adjusted to reflect a net gain of just 85,000 jobs. This uncertainty is what has made understanding the U.S. economy so difficult in recent years.
Professional and business services added the most jobs, the report showed. It pointed to 62,000 jobs being added in that category alone. However, this growth isn’t something that’s completely unheard of, even if it is nearly double what the previous months had seen in this space in terms of growth. Health care was the other major gainer in April, according to the findings of the report.
It revealed that 45,000 jobs were added in this space. One major reason, which fits in well with the message President Obama has been sending to Americans is that this is due to more people having health insurance.
Gregory Daco, the head of U.S. macroeconomics at Oxford Economics USA Inc., pointed out, “The pace of employment is quite encouraging.” Overall, the numbers are good to see, but they don’t necessarily reflect the change that many Americans want to see at this point.
Ronald Sanchez of Fiduciary Trust Company International pointed out that, “It’s a bit of a relief; you see a nice bounce-off from March.” He went on to elaborate, pointing out that, “the question is about the pace of the bounce-back. Today we got a sign that we are getting a little bit of a bounce-back, but it was far from a robust number.” This is certainly the more realistic way of looking at the current unemployment situation in the U.S.
The report also revealed that the average hourly wage of non-farm employees only rose 3 cents. Which is lighter than what many had hoped. This is only adding fuel to the debate around the income gap here in the U.S., and will surely be the center of any conversation on the subject, as long as good reports continue to come out and unemployment continues to lower, even if it lowers modestly.