Friday, May 3, 2013

U.S. Unemployment Rate For Women Drops To 6.7%

WASHINGTON, D.C. --  The unemployment rate for women ages 20 years and older dropped from 7% to 6.7% in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Unemployment rates for adult men (7.1%), teenagers (24.1%), whites (6.7%), blacks (13.2%), Asians (5.1%), and Hispanics (9.0%) showed little or no change. 

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 165,000 in April, and the overall unemployment rate was little changed at 7.5 percent.  Employment increased in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care. 

Labor Force Participation Rate

The U.S. civilian labor force participation rate remained unchanged from March to April at 63.3%.  The labor force participation rate for the past two months is the lowest since the economic stagflation days of 1979.  

The labor participation rate remained above 66% during the boom years of 2003 through 2008, but has steadily declined by about a half of a percentage point every year since 2008.

Involuntary Part Time Workers

In April, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million, largely offsetting a decrease in March. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

Marginally-Attached Workers

In April, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 835,000 discouraged workers in April, down by 133,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Jobs By Industry Sector

Professional and business services added 73,000 jobs in April and has added 587,000 jobs over the past year. In April, employment rose in temporary help services (+31,000), professional and technical services (+23,000), and management of companies (+7,000).

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places rose by 38,000 over the month. Job growth in the food services industry averaged 25,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

Retail trade employment increased by 29,000 in April. The industry added an average of 21,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months. In April, job growth occurred in general merchandise stores (+15,000) and in health and personal care stores (+5,000).

Health care added 19,000 jobs in April. Within the industry, employment rose in ambulatory health care services (+14,000). Over the prior 12 months, job growth in health care averaged 24,000 per month. In April, employment also continued its upward trend in social assistance (+7,000).

Employment changed little over the month in construction, with small offsetting movements in the residential and nonresidential components. Construction gained an average of 27,000 jobs per month over the prior 6 months. Manufacturing employment was unchanged in April.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

Average Work Week and Hourly Earnings 

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.2 hour in April to 34.4 hours. Within manufacturing, the workweek decreased by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, and overtime declined by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.

In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $23.87. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 45 cents, or 1.9 percent. In April, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged up by 2 cents to $20.06. 


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