U.S. growth continued at a brisk pace in April, buoyed by hiring at despite concerns about a looming slowdown and record-high inflation.
In April, employers added 428,000 jobs, the Labor Department said in its monthly payroll report released Friday, beating the 391,000 jobs forecast by Refinitiv economists. It was the 12th month in a row that job gains exceeded 400,000. The unemployment rate was at 3.6%, the lowest level since February 2020.
Today s firm payroll data confirms that the labor market is strong and suggests that the U.S. economy may be sufficiently resilient to deal with the coming monetary tightening, but bad in that it implies that the Federal Reserve needs to do some heavy lifting in order to slow activity down and subdue price pressures, said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors.
Leisure and hospitality, one of the hardest-hit sectors during the pandemic that has become a bellwether of sorts for the economic recovery, saw a gain of 78,000 new jobs last month. Restaurants and bars saw an increase of 43,800 while adding 22,300 jobs last month. Employment in the sector has decreased by 1.4 million, or 8.5%, since February 2020.
There were large gains in leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and transportation and warehousing, with the biggest gains in the field of job gains. Non-farm employment decreased by 1.2 million, or 0.8 percent, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020, according to the report.
Manufacturing saw the second-largest job growth in April, with the industry adding 55,000 new positions last month. The growth came from hiring at 31,000 durable goods factories with wood product producers accounting for 3,600 jobs, machinery manufacturers adding 7,400 and computer electronic producers adding another 3,700 jobs.
There was a hiring boom with 13,700 new jobs added to transportation equipment factories.
Education and health services made some of the biggest gains last month with payrolls climbing by in April. The largest gains in ambulatory health care services, 27,900 hospitals 4,500 and social assistance, 6,600 Professional and business services, meanwhile, saw payrolls jump by 41,000 last month. Systems design and related services went up by 4,200, accounting and bookkeeping services increased by 5,400 and scientific research and development services increased by 7,300. Employment in the industry is 738,000 more than in February 2020.
Employment in other industries, including financial activities 35,000 wholesale trade 22,200 and government 22,000, went up last month.