• The US economy added 428K jobs in April, more than the 391K expected. 
  • But the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6% against forecasts for a drop to 3.5%. 
  • FX markets did not see any notable reaction to the latest data. 

The US economy added 428,000 jobs in April, according to the latest Non-farm Payrolls (NFP) report released by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics on Friday. That was a little above the median economist forecast for a gain of 391,000 jobs, and exactly in line with the pace of jobs gains in March (which was revised lower to 428,000 from 431,000). The headline job gain was driven by a 406,000 gain in private-sector jobs, which came in above the 385,000 expected increase. 

Factory jobs were up 55,000 on the month, above the expected 35,000. Goods-producing jobs were up 66,000, Construction jobs were up 2,000, private sector service-providing jobs were up 340,000 and retail jobs were up 4,000. Government jobs rose by 22,000, above the expected 4,000 rise. 

In terms of measures of labour market slack; the Unemployment Rate remained unchanged at 3.6% in April versus the median economic forecast for a drop to 3.5%. The U6 Underemployment measure, meanwhile, rose a tad to 7.0% from 6.9% previously. The Labour Force Participation Rate fell slightly to 62.2% from 62.4% a month earlier. In terms of major US ethnic minority employment rates; the Black Unemployment Rate fell to 5.9% in April from 6.2% in March, while the Hispanic jobless rate fell to 4.1% from 4.2%. The White unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.2%. 

Finally, Average Hourly Earnings growth came in at 5.5% YoY as expected, with wages posting a slightly more modest MoM growth rate of 0.3% than the expected 0.4%. The Average Hourly Wage was $31.85 in April versus $31.75 in March. The average number of hours worked in the week remained unchanged at 34.6, versus expectations for a rise to 34.7. 

Market Reaction

Slightly weaker than forecast measures of labour market slack seemed to negative the slightly stronger than expected headline NFP print, with FX markets not showing much, if any, reaction to the latest data. 

 

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