The economy added 428,000 jobs in April. Expectations were around 400,000, so we slightly exceeded those.
Why it matters: Positive job growth is good news, but the labor force declined by 363,000. The participation rate lags too. If we had the same participation rate now as before the pandemic, there would be more than 3 million more workers in the labor force.
Be smart: “We hear from businesses every day that the worker shortage is their top challenge, and it’s impacting the country’s ability to ease supply chain disruptions, get inflation under control and continue our economic recovery,” said Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley. “It’s past time for Congress to act on solutions like modernizing our broken immigration system and helping expand affordable childcare options to help fill our 11.5 million open jobs.”
By the numbers:
- The April jobs report notes that wages rose 0.3% and are up 5.5% annually from April 2021. But when including inflation, real wages fell last month.
- Leisure and hospitality added 78,000 jobs; education and health services 59,000; manufacturing 55,000; transportation and warehousing 52,000; wholesale and retail trade 51,000; and professional business services 41,000.
Dig deeper: Earlier this year the U.S. Chamber launched the America Works Data Center to distill trends on job openings, labor force participation, and employment, and explore the reasons behind our workforce shortage.
- This is part of America Works, an initiative of the U.S. Chamber and U.S. Chamber Foundation for mobilizing industry and government to address America’s worker shortage crisis.
—Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce