May 05, 2017

Putting U.S. Employment Numbers in Context – April 2017

Post by Freedom Partners

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate for April 2017 was 4.4 percent and that the economy added 211,000 jobs.

Today marks the fourth jobs report for 2017 and the third full monthly report for the Trump administration.

Over the past three months, monthly jobs gains have averaged 174,000 and February’s jobs gain was revised up from 219,000 to 232,000. Despite today’s strong reading and indications that the economy is gradually moving in the right direction, millions of Americans are still struggling to find work.

The good news is that Washington has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to institute bold, pro-growth policies that curb overspending, reduce regulatory burdens for families and individuals, and ignite the kind of robust long-term growth Americans have been waiting for.

Below is a deeper look at the numbers from today’s report and what they say about the state of the U.S. economy and labor market.

Unemployment by the Numbers

4.4%: The unemployment rate decreased to 4.4 percent during April, down from 4.5 percent in March 2016.

7,056,000: The total number of unemployed individuals during April was 7.1 million, down from 7.2 million in March.

211,000: The economy added 211,000 jobs during April, up from 79,000 jobs added during March. The number of jobs added during February was revised up to 232,000 from the 219,000 reported last month.

13,862,000: The total number of individuals “underemployed” was nearly 14 million during April 2017. This includes those individuals who are unemployed (7.1 million), those who want a job but are no longer looking for work (1.5 million) and those individuals who are working part-time because no other work was available (5.3 million).

8.6%: The “underemployment” or “real unemployment” rate was 8.6 percent during April 2017. Real unemployment decreased 0.3 percentage points from March 2017.

7.9%: The African American unemployment rate decreased to 7.9 percent last month, down from 8 percent during March.

5.2%: The Hispanic unemployment rate increased to 5.2 percent during April 2017.

12,000: The civilian labor force increased by 12,000 during April 2017.

62.9%: The Labor Force Participation Rate was 62.9 percent during April 2017.

1,626,000: The number of individuals unemployed for longer than 27 weeks was 1.6 million during April. The total number of long-term unemployed decreased 61,000, or 4 percent from March 2017.

5,272,000: The number of individuals forced to work part time because no full-time work was available was 5.3 million during April, down from 5.6 million from March.

1,534,000: The number of individuals who attempted to look for a job at some point in the last year but have given up their search was 1.5 million during April 2017.

712,000: There were 712,000 unemployed first-time job entrants during April 2017. These individuals entered the labor market for the first time and were unable to find work.

24 Weeks: The average number of weeks it took job seekers to find work decreased to 24.1 weeks in April.

6%: The millennial unemployment rate (18-29) decreased to 6 percent in April. When adjusting for pre-recession 2007 labor force participation rates, this figure increases to 10.8 percent.