MRINetwork Analysis of the BLS Employment Situation Report
April 2012 Employment
The full report can be seen here: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.htm.
According to the Labor Department, total employment grew in the United States by 115,000 positions in April, the 19th straight month of job growth. The unemployment rate dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 percent and from 10 percent two years earlier. Revisions to March's numbers showed 153,000 jobs added, up from the 120,000 jobs previously reported. The professional, managerial, and related occupations unemployment rate, which reached as high as 5.5 percent in 2009, fell to 3.7 percent in April.
Retail trade added 29,000 positions, countering a loss of 32,000 positions reported last month. However, there has been no significant trend in that sector, which has only added 19,000 jobs in total since December. Professional and business services added 62,000 jobs in April, a third of which came from temporary staffing firms. Architectural and engineering services and computer design services both added a little more than 7,400 positions. The only significant decline in the report was a loss of 16,600 positions in transportation and warehousing, 11,000 of which were from transit and ground passenger transportation.
The unemployment rate for those with a bachelor's degree and higher fell from 4.2 to 4 percent in April, bringing that sector to less than half the average unemployment rate of all other levels of education, 9.1 percent. April, though, saw improving numbers for those with lower levels of academic achievement. The unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma, but no college, has fallen from 9.7 to 7.9 percent from a year earlier, almost equal to the 7.6 percent rate of unemployment among those with either some college or an associate's degree.
April's employment report failed to meet the expectations of economists, who were expecting more than 160,000 jobs to be added. Yet, the report is more positive than some predicted following the ADP report released in advance of the Labor Department's numbers, which showed a strong deceleration from March's employment growth.