US Adds 165,000 Jobs In April, Black Unemployment Rate Drops To 13.2 Percent
April jobs numbers beat forecasters estimates by a bit, with the Department of Labor announcing that 165,000 jobs were added for the month, pushing the unemployment rate for the country down to 7.5 percent. Experts had predicted that 140,000 jobs would be added, which is the good news. The bad news, according to The New York Times, is the figures for the month are lower than the number of jobs created during the previous months of 2013 and the final quarter of 2012.
The reason for the slowdown is the sequester that went into effect in March mixed with the increased payroll taxes that went into effect at the beginning of the year. Retail sales and manufacturing numbers had indicated that there would be an economic slowdown. Construction actually cut 6,000 jobs and the government, 11,000.
Still, the unemployment rate is the lowest since 2008. “The unemployment rate fell even though the size of the labor force increased, which is a good sign. People enter the labor force when they think there’s a better chance of finding work,” writes Marketwatch. Average hourly wages went up four cents to $23.87 and the average workweek fell just a bit to 34.4 hours. On the flip side, “professional and business services, which includes high-paying fields such as accounting, engineering and architecture, added 73,000 jobs. Retailers added 29,000 and health care 19,000,” reports The Washington Post.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the black unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percent to 13.2 percent, still well above the national average. The participation rate actually went up to 61.5 percent, up three-tenths of a percent.
The unemployment rate for adults between the ages of 18 and 29 is 11.1 percent. For African Americans in that age range, the figure is a staggering 20.4 percent, according to figures quoted by Generation Opportunity, a youth advocacy group.