The government released payroll data on Friday, its report for the net number of jobs added or lost during the month. The report said employers added 160,000 jobs during April, well below the 200,000 analysts had been expecting. It was another disappointing report, as economic growth has shifted into a slower gear during the first half of the year. During the first quarter GDP grew at its slowest rate in two years, at 0.5%. The payroll data is additional information that will likely keep the Federal Reserve from raising rates in their next meeting.
However, like many of the data released during the first half of this year, there were some bright spots in the report. There was a tick up in average hourly earnings. Hourly pay rose 2.5%. Many of the jobs added during the month were in the professional fields. 140,000 of the jobs added were in the business, education, and health care industries.
In separate but related reports, layoffs remain at a 40-year low and job openings are still near record highs. This leads many to believe the slowdown in economic and hiring activity during the first half of the year is just temporary, and we may see an accelerating of growth in the second half of the year.
If you have questions about the report, please give our Sioux City wealth management team a call.
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