The April jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this Friday added 160,000 nonfarm payroll jobs to the workforce. The number was the lowest it’s been since October 2015 and missed the projected 200,000 by 20%.
The unemployment rate stayed steady at 5% instead of dipping to the projected 4.9%, but many believe this is a sign that the economy is almost at full employment. Wages on average rose 0.3% month on month and 2.5% year on year.
Even though the the numbers came in lower some economists are arguing that as we reach full employment, the pace of hiring should slow down accordingly. Neil Dutta at Renaissance Macro stated that this was the strongest report since January:
Employment reports should be taken holistically. That means combining the growth in jobs, the length of the workweek, and hourly earnings. In this regard, the April jobs number was the strongest since January. The economy is at full employment. At full employment, the growth in payrolls slow and wages rise. We saw both in April.
Revisions to the March report showed a drop from 215,000 jobs added to 208,000. Combined with the additional revisions to the February report, employment gains between February and March were a total of 19,000 less than originally reported.
Finance hiring stays strong
The financial services sector added 20,000 jobs in April, 5,000 more than the previous month due to a rise in credit intermediation and related activities. Over the past twelve months, the finance industry itself has added 160,000 jobs to the economy. Industry hourly wages rose by 0.2% in April, slightly less than the overall average this month.
Even with the uncertainty facing Wall Street, financial services hiring is staying steady. Larger bulge bracket banks might be making cuts, but they’re rounded out with robust hiring throughout the rest of the industry.
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