May 5, 2017 – Employers added 211,000 jobs last month as the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. During the month, the number of workers unemployed also dropped to 7.1 million. April marked the 77th straight month of job growth in the U.S.
Economists had widely expected the number of new jobs created in April to rebound following a disappointing figure in March. Surveyed by Bloomberg they anticipated 190,000 new job additions.
President Donald J. Trump has pledged to dramatically accelerate the pace of job growth and oversee the creation of 25 million new jobs in the next decade. By comparison, the U.S. has added 15.5 million jobs since 2010, a mark that includes significant catch-up from the mass layoffs of the financial crisis.
Where Job Growth Occurred
During the month, job growth took hold in a number of broad industries. Here’s a look at some of the most important key sectors:
- In April, leisure and hospitality added 55,000 jobs. Employment in food services continued to trend up over the month (+26,000) and has increased by 260,000 over the year.
- Employment in healthcare and social assistance increased by 37,000 in April. Healthcare employment continued to trend up over the month (+20,000). This is in line with the industry’s average monthly job growth during the first quarter of this year but below the average gain of 32,000 per month in 2016. Social assistance added 17,000 jobs in April, with all of the gain in individual and family services.
- In April, financial activities added 19,000 jobs, with insurance carriers and related activities accounting for most of the gain (+14,000). Over the year, financial activities has added 173,000 jobs.
- Employment in mining rose by 9,000 in April, with most of the increase in support activities for mining (+7,000). Since a recent low in October 2016, mining has added 44,000 jobs, with three fourths of the gain in support activities for mining.
- Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in April (+39,000). The industry has added 612,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
- Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, showed little change over the month.
Strongest Hiring Outlook In 10 Years
Forty five percent of U.S. employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the second quarter – a significant jump from 34 percent last year and the highest percentage for the quarter dating back to 2007, according to CareerBuilder‘s latest forecast.
“This is the best forecast we have seen for the second quarter since we started doing this survey more than 10 years ago,” said Matt Ferguson, chief executive officer of CareerBuilder. “Nearly half of employers hired full-time employees in the first quarter and that momentum is expected to continue over the next few months.” He said companies are paying close attention to policies introduced by the new Trump administration to assess the potential impact on businesses, but the hiring outlook is “optimistic.”
4 Ways to Build Talent Pipelines of the Future
While strong job growth is a good sign for the U.S. economy as a whole, it presents certain challenges for employers and HR professionals. Employers are having difficulty attracting suitable candidates and jobs are becoming harder to fill, requiring more time and money to hire best-fit talent.
Sheila Greco, founder of SGA Talent in Amsterdam, NY, said that for her firm the first quarter of the year has been strong and that she and her clients are also optimistic about the months ahead. “I know from a small business perspective, we see this as being a very positive time,” Ms. Greco said. “A lot of times people put their hiring on pause in an election year to see what happens with the outcome. Now that it’s over a number of our clients have just said, ‘You know what? We paused it for a while and now we’re going full bore. We need talent.’”
There is no denying a general giddiness in the job market. “Whether it continues will depend on whether the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers can convert rhetoric to legislation,” said Andy Knox, managing director of Chelsea Partners, a Los Angeles-based search firm.
According to the latest ‘Employment Outlook Survey,’ released by ManpowerGroup, employers expect the pace of hiring to continue picking up this quarter, with nearly 25 percent planning to add staff through June. The upbeat forecast indicates the continued uncertain political climate is having little effect on employer confidence.
Nationwide, employers in all 13 industry sectors expect to add staff in the coming quarter. Industries reporting the strongest second quarter hiring intentions are leisure & hospitality (+28 percent), wholesale & retail trade (+21 percent), transportation & utilities (+20 percent) and professional & business services (+19 percent).
“U.S. employers have a positive outlook for the second quarter as the country waits to understand how the new administration’s policies will come into effect,” said Michael Stull, senior vice president, Manpower North America.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media