Job gains in areas including leisure & hospitality, health care & social assistance, and financial activities helped brighten the nation's employment picture in April.
The Labor Department (DOL) reports nonfarm payroll employment increased by 211,000 last month, while the jobless rate inched down to 4.4% from 4.5% in March.
As it released its April report, DOL revised the change in February employment to a gain of 232,000 from 219,000 and the change for March from a gain of 98,000 to 79,000. That put employment gains in February and March 6,000 lower than previously reported. Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 174,000.
Where the jobs are
The leisure & hospitality sector added 55,000 jobs, followed by gains in health care & social assistance (+37,000), financial activities (+19,000) and mining (+9,000). in April, with most of the increase in support activities for mining (+7,000).
Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation & warehousing, information, and government, showed little change over the month.
Who's got a job
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men declined to 4.0%, the jobless rates for adult women (4.1%), teens (14.7%), Whites (3.8%), Blacks (7.9%), Asians (3.2%) and Hispanics (5.2%) showed little change.
The labor force participation rate dipped 0.1% in April to 62.9% and has been fairly steady over the past year. The employment-population ratio at 60.2% also was little changed over the month but is up 0.5% since December.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 7 cents in April to $26.19. Over the year, average hourly earnings are up 2.5% or 65 cents.
The complete report may be found on the DOL website.