State of the Labor Market

April 2019 Jobs Report: Strong Numbers and Still Room to Grow

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The labor market added 263,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.6%.

This is an economy that is working for workers. The labor market added 263,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% from 3.8%, but that was mostly due to a drop in labor force participation. Another astonishingly strong month of jobs growth shows the continued strength of this recovery. Jobs continued to grow fastest in middle- and high-wage industries, while wage growth was fastest in low-wage industries.

That being said, we shouldn’t expect eye-popping jobs numbers like this to continue throughout this year. Year-over-year job growth in the goods sector is continuing to slow down which could pull down the headline job growth numbers moving forward.

We should also remember that some workers are still not fully benefiting from this recovery. The long-term unemployment rate remains almost twice what it was in the early 2000s, and the share of the labor that is working part-time but would prefer full-time work remains elevated above its low in the previous recovery.

We’re making progress in the labor market, but that doesn’t mean there’s not still more room to grow.



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