April Jobs Report a Strong Showing for the Economy

May 06, 2019
| Michael Altiero
April 2019 Jobs Report

After a very poor February, the job market and United States economy rebounded in March. Job creation exceeded expectations (196,000), which was much needed after dismal numbers the month before.

Unemployment remained that same at 3.8%. and wage growth decreased slightly to 3.2%, but overall March was seen as a positive for the country.

These results had economists, politicians, and most Americans anticipating the April results, which were just released. Did the economy have another strong showing, or did the numbers come back down?

Unemployment Rate Decreased to its Lowest Level since 1969

Most analysts predicted that unemployment would remain the same at 3.8%, but that wasn’t the case. In April, unemployment fell to 3.6%, the lowest it has been since December 1969 (3.5%).

Part of the reason for this substantial decline is that around 500,000 people left the labor force – which includes individuals who are seeking jobs or currently working. Overall, this lowered the labor force participation rate to 62.8% from 63% last month.

The lowered unemployment rate is said by some to be a cue to an economic rebound for the economy after a relatively slow start to 2019. Others, though, want to see this number stay the same in May (or even lower) based on the decline in labor force participation.

Job Growth Crushed Estimates

Coming off a strong month of job creation, how did April’s numbers look? Analysts predicted a gain of around 190,000 jobs, but the actual number far exceeded estimates with 263,000 new jobs created.

Additionally, job gains for February and March were increased by 16,000: February’s number went from 33,000 to 56,000, while March was revised down from 196,000 to 186,000.

This impressive growth is another sign for some economists and analysts that a feared economic downturn isn’t necessarily on the horizon.

For many employers, the health of the job market has made it much more difficult to attract candidates, as these individuals have more options available to them than ever before.

To combat this trend, many employers are choosing to enhance their benefit offerings and workplace perks, while also providing more competitive salaries.

Which leads to the wage growth results for April…

Wage Growth Remains the Same

Wage growth has been a closely-watched statistic each month for the last few years given the competitive nature of the current job market.

In April, wage growth was 3.2% year-over-year, the same number as last month. This was one of the few numbers that missed expectations, as some analysts and publications predicted wage growth to come in at 3.3%.

It will be interesting to see if this number hovers around 3.2% to 3.4% for the rest of the year, or if bigger increases occur as we move through 2019.

April was a Great Month for the Job Market and Economy

The overall results for the April Jobs Report were overwhelmingly positive, especially around job creation. And even though some experts are concerned about why the unemployment rate fell, May’s numbers will be telling as to where things may go the rest of this year.

We will have to wait until early June before we get to see the next Jobs Report results!

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