Washington, DC–Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000 in April, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent, the lowest rate since December 1969, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, health care, and social assistance.
“America’s workforce continues to see their paychecks grow, with year-over-year wage growth reaching 3.2%,” said Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor. “The year-over-year average hourly earnings have grown at or exceeded 3.0% for nine straight months. Wage growth has not risen this fast since 2009.”
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates declined in April for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), Whites (3.1 percent), Asians (2.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.2 percent). The jobless rates for teenagers (13.0 percent) and Blacks (6.7 percent) showed little or no change.
Over the month, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 387,000 to 5.8 million. Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs declined by 186,000 over the month to 2.7 million. In April, the number of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks declined by 222,000 to 1.9 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.2 million in April and accounted for 21.1 percent of the unemployed.
The labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 62.8 percent in April but was unchanged from a year earlier. The employment-population ratio was unchanged at 60.6 percent in April and has been either 60.6 percent or 60.7 percent since October 2018.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 4.7 million in April. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or because they were unable to find full-time jobs.