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A female reading the May 2024 jobs report on her laptop and analyzing April's labor market and economy trends.

Labor Market and Economy Report: A Look at Trends in April 2024

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Executive Summary

Job Growth

In April, the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs, falling below this year’s average monthly gain (242,000) and last year’s monthly average of 225,000.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the healthcare, social assistance, transportation and warehousing industries saw the largest increases in new jobs last month. Healthcare added the most in April (56,000 jobs), with social assistance seeing the second-highest gain (31,000 jobs). The transportation and warehousing industries added 22,000 jobs each.

Several industries remained relatively unchanged, experiencing little growth in 2024 overall. Those industries include manufacturing, information, financial activities, and professional and business services.

Unemployment and Labor Force Participation

The unemployment rate rose in April to 3.9%, with the labor force participation rate staying unchanged at 62.7%.

Unemployment rates, specific to the industries Aston Carter supports, were as follows: finance and insurance (2.2%), professional and business services (4.5%), hospitals (1.4%) and manufacturing (2.9%).

Among skilled labor categories Aston Carter sources talent for, unemployment in business and financial was 2.5%, and office and administrative was 3.6%.

Wage Growth

Comparing March 2024 to March 2023, average hourly earnings increased 4.1%. The year-over-year hourly earnings rate decreased for the second month in a row, down from 4.3% in February and 4.4% in January. Year-over-year "real" average hourly earnings (wages adjusted for inflation) increased 0.6% between March 2023 and March 2024, a decline from February’s 1.1% year-over-year rate of increase.

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May 2024 jobs report: April labor market trends show 175K jobs added & 3.9% unemployment rate.

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