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Industryweek 8721 050815 Bls Jobs Report

BY THE NUMBERS: The April BLS Jobs Report

May 8, 2015
The new jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is packed with impressive numbers (223,000 new jobs! 5.4% unemployment!) but what does it say about manufacturing?

The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in April, according to the new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure isn’t far off from the forecast that called for somewhere between 225,000 and 228,000 new jobs. What are some of the other important numbers from the new report?

181,000: The drop in the number of unemployed people across all manufacturing industries during the last 12 months, thanks to another 1,000 manufacturing jobs added last month. At this time a year ago, manufacturing counted 790,000 unemployed with a 5.2% unemployment rate. Today, those numbers are 609,000 and 4.0, respectively. Only information (3.2%), education and health services (3.1%), financial activities (2.7%) and government workers (2.4%) have a lower current rate of unemployment.

31,000: The number of jobs added in goods-producing industries, thanks to those aforementioned 1,000 new positions in manufacturing and 45,000 in construction. Mining and logging lost 15,000 jobs and dropped for the third straight month. TD Bank Group economist Michael Dolega credits the construction bump to regular seasonal cycles and the continued mining and logging dip to the difficult situation for oil producers.

34.5: The number of average hours worked per week across the private sector, which remains unchanged from last month. In manufacturing, though, the total number of hours and overtime hours both dropped again from last month – albeit a slight decrease of 0.1 hours each – to 40.8 and 3.2, respectively. Total manufacturing hours have dropped each of the last two months, from 41.0 to 40.9 to 40.8, while weekly overtime has dropped 0.1 hours each of the last three months.

5.4: The new unemployment rate, which continues to drop and is now at its lowest point since May 2008, a span of 83 months.

1.5: The percentage increase in the seasonally-adjusted total number of people working in manufacturing during the last year, from 12.14 million in April 2014 to 12.32 million last month. The total has remained flat and largely unchanged this calendar year.

1.5: The percentage increase in seasonally-adjusted average hourly earnings in manufacturing during the last year, from $19.49 per hour in April 2014 to $19.78 last month. The private sector as a whole increased close to 1.9%, from $20.52 to $20.90.

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