April Payrolls Jump By 211K, Beating Expectations Although Average Hourly Earnings Disappoint

Well, the Fed said the recent disappointing economic data would be “transitory” and based on the just released jobs report, it may have been somewhat right, because after growing only by a revised 79,000 jobs in March, payrolls rebounded in April, rising by more than the expected 190K to 211K, in line with the optimistic whisper estimates. The not so great news: March payrolls were revised materially lower, and denying expectations of a solid upward revision, March payrolls were said to rise by only 79K, below the 98K initially reported.

Nonfarm private payrolls rose 194k vs prior 77k; est. 190k, range 155k-270k from 39 economists surveyed. Manufacturing payrolls rose 6k after rising 13k in the prior month; economists estimated 10k, range 0k to 15k from 23 economists surveyed

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised up from +219,000 to +232,000, and the change for March was revised down from +98,000 to +79,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 6,000 lower than previously reported.

The change in household employment was up 156k vs the prior +472k.

The unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped, declining from 4.5% to 4.4%, below the 4.6% expected and to the lowest level since May 2007, as the participation rate declined.  Underemployment rate 8.6% vs prior 8.9%

In April, the number of Americans not in the labor force rose by 162K to 94.375MM, the highest of 2017.

Perhaps the most important indicator the Fed is looking at, Average Hourly Earnings, was somewhat soft, with the Y/Y number missing expectations of a 2.7% increase, rising only 2.5%, even as the monthly increase of 0.3% came in line with expectations, although here too the March monthly increase was revised downward from 0.2% to 0.1%, suggesting wage growth remains very much elusive for most workers. 

The silver lining here is that average weekly hours rose fractionally to 34.4 from 34.3, in turn helping drive average weekly earning up to 2.6%, the highest since December,

Finally, some details from the report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 211,000 in April. Employment rose in leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, financial activities, and mining.

In April, leisure and hospitality added 55,000 jobs. Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up over the month (+26,000) and has increased by 260,000 over the year.

Employment in health care and social assistance increased by 37,000 in April. Health care employment continued to trend up over the month (+20,000). This is in line with the industry’s average monthly job growth during the first quarter of this year but below the average gain of 32,000 per month in 2016. Social assistance added 17,000 jobs in April, with all of the gain in individual and family services.

In April, financial activities added 19,000 jobs, with insurance carriers and related activities accounting for most of the gain (+14,000). Over the year, financial activities has added 173,000 jobs.

Employment in mining rose by 9,000 in April, with most of the increase in support activities for mining (+7,000). Since a recent low in October 2016, mining has added 44,000 jobs, with three-fourths of the gain in support activities for mining.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in April (+39,000). The industry has added 612,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours in April. In manufacturing, the workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, and overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.

In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $26.19. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5 percent. In April, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $21.96.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised up from +219,000 to +232,000, and the change for March was revised down from +98,000 to +79,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 6,000 lower than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 174,000.

This post originally appeared on Zero Hedge

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