New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the US labor market remained strong in April, despite signs of a broader economic slowdown. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 253,000, which is more than the 180,000 that had been estimated by Dow Jones. This indicates that the labor market is still able to show resilience in the face of recessionary concerns and banking crises.
Health Care and Social Assistance Sector Sees Highest Growth
Almost one in every four new jobs created in April was in the health care and social assistance sector, with around 64,200 jobs added in total. The ambulatory services sub-sector saw 24,000 new jobs, while nursing and residential care facility payrolls rose by 9,000 and hospital payrolls increased by 7,000. Although this is the highest growing sector compared to the previous month, the health care sector still added fewer jobs on average over the past six months. However, social assistance saw a larger increase in jobs than it has on average during this time period, largely due to gains in the individual and family services sub-industry.
Professional and Business Services Sector Also Sees Growth
The professional and business services sector saw the second-largest growth in April, adding 43,000 jobs, which is more than it has added on an average month in the past six months. Professional, scientific and technical service jobs accounted for most of the gains, with a 45,000 increase. However, temporary service roles continued to decline, with a loss of 23,300 jobs month-over-month. This puts the sub-sector’s total workforce almost 175,000 jobs off its peak in March 2022.
Signs of Moderation in Job Growth
Despite the broad job gains across sectors in April, total job growth is still relatively muted. The three-month moving average decreased to 222,000 with April’s data, which is less than half its size from a year ago. While growth is still high enough to keep the unemployment rate steady, this moderation in job growth could indicate to the Federal Reserve that the labor market is showing signs of cooling. Workers, employers, and policymakers should be encouraged by the current state of affairs, but it is unclear how long this can endure.
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