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  • Writer's pictureNick Andriacchi

Employment Market Stumbles In April

I tend to believe that the loss in contract jobs and anemic job growth is due to lack of candidates available to work. Bad economic policy like enhanced unemployment benefits when plenty of jobs and vaccines are available are the root cause of labor shortages that have led to supply shortages and inflation. According to the latest JOLTS report, there are a record 8.1 million open jobs in the United States and over 50% of the adult population has received at least one shot of the vaccine.

Having said that, May will be a better month. Expect employment numbers to rebound in May (and upward revision in April). Many states relaxed restrictions towards the end of April, which will be reflected in next months report. There are also some governors that are putting pressure on vaccinated adults to reenter the labor force.

Within the other services category, personal and laundry services, which serves as a proxy for general business activity, increased by 14,000 for a second month in a row.

APD reported that 742,000 jobs were created in April.

Analysis of the April Employment Report

· Temporary help over 111,000 jobs in April. The troubling part of this number is that almost every staffing company is reporting a record number of job openings that are going unfilled.

· The job growth wax disappointing as most economists predicted job creation at 1 million.

· A more encompassing measure of unemployment (U6) that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons dropped to 10.4% from 10.7% in April.

· The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised up by 68,000, from +468,000 to +536,000, and the change for March was revised down by 146,000, from +916,000 to +770,000. With these revisions, employment in February and March combined is 78,000, lower than previously reported.

· Prime age labor force participation rate (ages 25-54) was flat this month at 81.3%. While the number has improved since April, it is still down by 1.6% since February 2020, the last month before the pandemic started.

· The overall labor force participation held steady to 61.7%. This is 1.6% below last February (2020) level.

· Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was up 21 cents to $30.17.

· The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was up .1 to 35.0 hours in April. In manufacturing, the workweek and overtime were both unchanged over the month, at 40.5 hours and 3.2 hours, respectively. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours.

Source: ADP, BLS, CNBC

JOLTS Report May 11, 2021

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, rose to 8.1 million on the last day of January from 6.8 million in December, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). The job openings rate increased to 4.6% from 4.5% in December.

Job Openings

On the last business day of March, the job openings level reached a series high of 8.1 million (+597,000). The job openings series began in December 2000. The job openings rate increased to 5.3 percent.

This data continues to suggest and confirms what staffers have been saying, they have more open job orders than candidates.


· In March, the number and rate of hires changed little at 6.0 million and 4.2 percent, respectively. Hires increased in state and local government education (+62,000); educational services (+31,000); and mining and logging (+17,000).


Total separations include quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations include separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.

· In March, the number and rate of total separations were little changed at 5.3 million and 3.7 percent, respectively.

· The quits level and rate were little changed at 3.5 million and 2.4 percent, respectively.

· The number of layoffs and discharges decreased to a series low of 1.5 million. The layoffs and discharges rate decreased to 1.0 percent.

Net Change In Employment

· Over the 12 months ending in March, hires totaled 73.2 million and separations totaled 69.9 million, yielding a net employment gain of 3.3 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired

and separated more than once during the year.

· APD reported that 517,000 jobs were created in March

Source: ADP, BLS

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