164,000 Jobs Added in April, Unemployment Down to 3.9%

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 164,000 in April, an increase from last month’s reading of 135,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, the first sub-4% unemployment figure since 2000.

Private service-providing industries gained 119,000 jobs, led by professional and business services and education and health care, adding 54,000 and 31,000, respectively.

Goods-producing employment rose by 49,000 jobs during the month, as gains in manufacturing led by adding 24,000. Construction employment rebounded after shedding 10,000 jobs last month, gaining 17,000 in April.

The civilian labor force participation rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 62.8%. Workers unemployed for less than 14 weeks decreased by 164,000, while the number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, fell by 29,000 and accounted for 20.4% of the unemployed. The number of discouraged workers was 408,000, a decrease of 47,000 from a year earlier.

Average hourly earnings rose by 4 cents, settling at $26.84. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen by 67 cents, or 2.6%.

Read the BLS release.

About Stephen Newton

Stephen Newton is an economic research associate at ABA.