Insights and Perspective

 

Insights and Perspective

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Read the latest from Geographic Solutions.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its monthly Current Employment Statistics (CES) report and Current Population Survey (CPS) for April 2022 on Friday, May 6th. The monthly change in employment given by the CES and the unemployment rate from the CPS are seen as the standard gauges for assessing the health of the U.S. labor market. 

Employment in the U.S. rose by 428,000 jobs. The jobs report fell short of the Geographic Solutions, Inc. forecast of 580,000. The Wall Street Journal forecast of 400,000 was closer to the result. Geographic Solutions, Inc. derives its employment forecast from internal data on the number of job searchers, job applications, job severances, and applications for unemployment benefits filed on Geographic Solutions state client sites. The forecast uses unemployment claims data from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).

The unemployment rate remained the same at 3.6%, above the Geographic Solutions and WSJ forecast of 3.5%. The unemployment rate forecast used internal data on the number of job openings, job searchers, job applications, job severances, and the number of applications for unemployment benefits filed on Geographic Solutions state client sites. The forecast uses unemployment claims data from the USDOL.

Job creation was strongest in Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (104,000) and Leisure & Hospitality (78,000). Job growth was flat to positive in all industries.

Manufacturing is poised in May to join Construction; Professional & Business Services; Trade, Transportation, & Utilities; and Financial Activities as one of the sectors that has recovered all jobs lost since the beginning of the pandemic. Leisure & Hospitality employment continues to grow but is the only sector to remain more than 5% below its pre-pandemic employment level.

The labor force participation rate declined to 62.2% from the previous month. The more expansive U-6 unemployment rate counts discouraged workers who are no longer actively seeking work (and therefore no longer in the labor force) and those that have settled for part-time employment but desire a full-time job. This measure of unemployment ticked up to 7.0%. 

April employment continued its record streak of growing by more than 400,000 jobs per month since May 2021.  At this pace jobs should return to their February 2020 total in three months. The labor market has been running hot for several months, but it is uncertain when increasing wage gains are going to have a dampening effect on employment. 



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