April Job Growth Well Below Expectations

May 5, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Non-farm payroll employment increased by 138,000 in April, and the unemployment rate stayed at 4.7%, according to Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.

Job growth was well below analysts’ expectations of 200,000, Reuters reports.   Additionally, revised numbers for February and March were below what was previously reported.   The BLS restated March job growth as 200,000 instead of the reported 211,000, and February’s employment growth was adjusted down to 200,000 from 225,000.

Financial services employment had the biggest gain in April of 26,000, with insurance contributing 10,000 jobs to that number and credit intermediation making up 9,000 of the total, according to BLS data.   Heath care employment also rose notably by 23,000 jobs for the month.

Retail trade employment fell by a significant 36,000 in April.   General merchandise stores lost 34,000 jobs over the month.

The BLS data can be viewed  here .