United States: Payrolls stronger than expected in April
May 3, 2013
In April, non-farm payrolls grew by 165,000, which came in above the revised 138,000 rise observed in March (previously reported: 88,000). Moreover, the reading overshot market expectations, which had anticipated payrolls would rise by 153,000.
The private sector continued to be entirely responsible for new hiring by adding 176,000 jobs. Professional and business services, as well as leisure and hospitality were the sectors recording the largest gains. On the other hand, the public sector cut 11,000 jobs, maintaining the negative trend seen throughout most of the past three years.
The monthly figure marks the 31st consecutive monthly gain in non-farm payrolls and the U.S. economy has now recovered 6.2 million jobs since February 2010, which marked the trough of the crisis in the labour market. That said, despite the improvement seen in the past two years, the economy remains short of 2.6 million jobs compared to the peak reached in January 2008.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate - which is derived from a different survey - inched down from 7.6% in March to 7.5% in April, which represents the lowest rate since December 2008. The reading came in below market expectations that had the rate stable at 7.6%.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists anticipate unemployment to average 7.7% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects the unemployment rate to drop to 7.2%.