April Payroll Report: Employment Level Up 168,000

The April jobs numbers came in at a quite disappointing 115,000 but it’s important to also factor in the revisions to the previous months’ data which gives us another 53,000 jobs. These kind of figures are squarely in “not good enough” territory. We really want to see bounce-back employment growth in the 300,000-400,000 range but I’m increasingly convinced that the Federal Reserve’s shortsighted approach makes this impossible.

As usual, the meh headline represents a mix of growth and losses. The big down sectors were Government (-15k) driven especially by a loss of 10.7 thousand teachers; Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (-15.1k) with no useful sub-sector activity; Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation (-11k); and Couriers and Messengers (-7.4k). A slowdown in fracking activity also seems to have hurt some of the construction sub-sectors, but it’s hard to disaggregate the different forms of non-residential construction.