The report on the U.S. employment situation for April released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics contained some good news, with the unemployment rate falling to 7.5 percent, its lowest since late 2008. Payroll jobs rose by a better than expected 165,000, and upward revisions to previous months made job market performance for the late winter look much better than previously reported. Certainly, weak spots remain in the employment situation, but on the whole, the report was stronger than expected.
Although the decrease in the unemployment rate was less than a full percentage point, it was a “good” decrease in that the absolute numbers of unemployed workers fell while both the number of employed workers and the size of the labor force increased. That contrasts with the less favorable situation in March, when the unemployment rate fell only because the labor force decreased faster than the number of workers with jobs. The number of employed workers, as measured by the household survey, increased by 293,000 from March to April. That number differs from the job gain of 165,000 reported in the separate payroll survey partly because of differences in methodology and partly because the payroll survey excludes farm workers and the self-employed. >>>Read more
Follow this link to view or download a classroom-ready slideshow with charts and analysis of the April employment situation