April Job Creation Data Shy of Expectations

May 4¸ 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.COM) - Hiring activity by U.S. managers was weaker than expected in April as the total of new jobs showed the weakest gain in more than two years.

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday that the economy added 88,000 jobs in April – significantly behind the 100,000 new jobs analysts predicted in Reuters’ monthly survey.

Not only that, but BLS announced it had   revised down its estimate for jobs created in March by 3,000 and in February by 23,000.

The government also reported an expected gain in the unemployment rate to 4.5% from 4.4% in March,

Significant job losses in April came in general merchandise stores, where employment dropped by 41,000, and credit intermediation, where jobs fell by 14,000.

In other sectors, health care employment continued to grow in April (+37,000), with gains throughout the component industries.  Over the year, health care has added 362,000 jobs. 

Meanwhile, employment in social assistance was up by 10,000 in April and has grown by 63,000 over the year. Food services and drinking places continued to expand in April, gaining 25,000 jobs.  Employment in the food service industry has increased by 336,000 over the year, BLS said.
Within professional and business services, employment rose in April in computer systems design (+11,000) and in management and technical consulting services (+12,000).  Wholesale trade employment edged up by 13,000 over the month.  Government employment continued to trend up in April and has grown by 297,000 over the year.  Local government accounted for three-quarters of the over-the-year growth.
Employment in construction was little changed in April, with no significant movements among the component industries. 

Manufacturing employment continued to decline in April (-19,000).  Small job losses were widespread across manufacturing industries, with notable declines in machinery (-5,000), motor vehicles (-5,000), and textile mills (-3,000).