Widespread layoffs in recent months have sent millions of Americans to the unemployment office but fortunately, there were a lot of companies across several industries that did a lot of hiring last month.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the economy created 253,000 jobs in April, pushing the unemployment rate down to 3.4%. Hiring was widespread across a number of different industries.
For example, companies in the professional and business services sector hired 43,000 new employees last month. Professional, scientific, and technical services added 45,000 positions.
Employment in health care increased by 40,000 in April, a healthy increase but slightly lower than the monthly average over the previous six months. Doctors' offices, hospitals, and residential nursing centers all added employees.
Bars and restaurants continued to hire workers. Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in April, adding 25,000 jobs. However, the industry still has fewer employees than it did before the pandemic.
Social assistance agencies hired 25,000 employees while agencies providing individual and family services added 21,000 to their staffs.
Even financial services firms were hiring
In spite of turmoil within the banking industry, employment in financial activities increased by 23,000 in April, with gains in insurance carriers and related activities. In spite of a slowing housing market, real estate added 9,000 jobs last month.
At the same time, employees took home bigger paychecks. In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose to $33.36.
If all of this sounds like good news, it is – for people looking for jobs and those who already have one. It’s not so good for the Federal Reserve, which has been hiking interest rates in an effort to reduce inflation.
In fact, the Fed is trying to increase the rate of unemployment – even if it means pushing the economy into a recession – to reduce consumer spending and bring down prices.