The non-farm payrolls data showed that 288K jobs were added in April, which superseded economists’ forecasts of 219K. The unemployment rate has fallen to 6.3 percent, a .4 percent drop, reaching the lowest level since September 2008. According to the Labor Department figures, last month’s jobs gain was revised higher from 192K to 203K.
“The job market is starting to click on all cylinders — the engine is not running very fast, but all cylinders are moving,” said Robert Stein, deputy chief economist at First Trust Portfolios LP. But, is it? Nearly one million people drop out of the labor force in April. 806K individuals fell out of the workforce following a 503K increase in March. The participation rate declined to 62.8, the lowest since last December.
There was a encouraging pop in professional services, increasing by 74K. However, nearly one-third were temporary. Low-paying job gains continue to remain a large part of the jobs added to the economy. Food service jobs increased by 33K, higher than the 12-month average of 28K. Retail jobs increased by 35K with food and beverage stores having the largest share of job gains. Retail jobs have increased by a total of 327K jobs in the last 12-months.
Unfortunately for those struggling to get by on Main Street, wages and the average work week were flat. There are still 9.8 million people unemployed.
The dollar remains sharply higher after the report, increasing by .4 percent. Gold and silver still remain positive as US equity futures fluctuate between positive and negative territory. Some analysts see this month’s data as such that fills in the cracks over the last four months.