The U.S. labor market added 164,000 jobs in April 2018, which is slightly below expectations. U.S. economists projected job growth of 192,000 jobs for the month. This is slightly disappointing compared to the average of 208,000 jobs gained over the last three months.
However, the national unemployment rate decreased to 3.9% for the month, its first drop in six months and a new 17-year low. This puts the total number of unemployed persons at 6.3 million. The labor force participation rate also edged down to 62.8%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised February and March job numbers to 324,000 and 134,000, respectively. This generates a net gain of 30,000 jobs for the past two months.
Average hourly earnings also grew 2.7% over the last 12 months, with average hourly earnings for the month reaching $26.84, a $0.04 increase from March.
Employment in the professional and business industry led the way again with 54,000 jobs added this month. The manufacturing and healthcare industries followed with 24,000 jobs each. Manufacturing has netted 245,000 jobs over the last 12 months and healthcare added 305,000. In fact, ambulatory healthcare services added 17,000 jobs and hospitals added another 8,000.
The mining industry added 8,000 jobs, with a total of 86,000 jobs over the past year.
The employment in other major industries, including construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.
Check out our infographic below for more stats from the April 2018 Jobs Report: