Female hr reading cv during online virtual job interview by video call. Employer checking african male recruit resume talking by distance remote recruitment chat meeting video conference on laptop.

Nonfarm payroll employment added 428,000 jobs in April, following an increase of the same amount in March (revised), according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Currently, nonfarm employment is below pre-pandemic levels (February 2020) by 1.2 million, or 0.8%.

Little change in unemployment rates

The unemployment rate remained at 3.6% in April, representing 5.9 million people and inching closer to February 2020’s status (3.5% and 5.7 million people). 

Unemployment rates stayed mostly the same across major worker groups: 

  • Adult men: 3.5% (3.4% in March)
  • Adult women: 3.2% (3.3% in March)
  • Teenagers: 10.2% (10.0% in March)
  • Black/African American: 5.9% (6.2% in March)
  • Hispanic/Latino: 4.1% (4.2% in March)
  • Asian: 3.1% (2.8% in March)
  • White: 3.2% (3.2% in March)

Jobless numbers approach pre-pandemic levels

The number of temporary layoffs edged up to 853,000 in April, while the number of permanent job losers was unchanged at 1.4 million. These numbers are about the same as their pre-pandemic levels.

Long-term unemployment (jobless for 27 weeks or more) changed little 1.5 million (25.2% of total unemployed) and is only 362,000 above its pre-pandemic status. The labor force participation rate inched down to 62.2% for the month.

Fewer employees teleworked because of the pandemic last month, dropping from 10% to 7.7%. Those unable to work because of pandemic-related business closures totaled 1.7 million people in April, down from 2.5 million. Meanwhile, 586,000 people couldn’t look for work during the month because of the pandemic, less than the 874,000 reported in March.

Job growth continues across major industries

For another month, the industry with the most job gains was leisure and hospitality, which added 78,000 jobs in April. This is 1.4 million (8.5%) behind the industry’s pre-pandemic levels. 

Other notable job gains included:

  • Manufacturing (+55,000)
  • Transportation and warehousing (+52,000)
  • Professional and business services (+41,000)
  • Financial activities (+35,000)
  • Healthcare (+34,000)

Average hourly earnings for private nonfarm employees went up by $0.10 to reach $31.85 in April and have risen 5.5% over the past year.