Although March’s already-tepid figure of 126,000 jobs created got a huge downward revision, the good news was that the jobs market did make a comeback of sorts in April, with 223,000 jobs created by the U.S. economy last month.
Aside from the return to the usual trend of 200,000 or more jobs created, the U.S. unemployment rate ticked down from 5.5 percent to 5.4 percent, marking the lowest jobless rate on record since 2008. There were, however, some revisions made to previous months’ job creation statistics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 85,000 jobs were added in March, more than 40,000 less than that month’s original figure.
The BLS added that the biggest gains last month took place in the professional and business services spaces, where a total of 62,000 jobs were created. Health care and construction both benefited from 45,000 new jobs. On the other hand, the broader mining sector lost 15,000 jobs in April, continuing its downward trend, with most of the jobs lost in mining activities (10,000) and another 3,000 jobs lost in the oil and gas extraction field. Mining has lost a total of 49,000 jobs since the start of the calendar year.
Labor participation, another key statistic used in determining the health of the U.S. jobs market, remained flat in April, with the figure rising just 0.1 percent from 62.7 percent to 62.8 percent. In fact, this stat has been in the 62.7 percent and 62.9 percent range since April 2014, a spread of just 0.2 percent. Still, experts feel that this is a good thing, as are the trends in some of the more overlooked labor stats. Underemployment, for one, was down from 11.8 percent in April last year to 10.8 percent last year.