Jobs Market Rebounds, Adds Over 211,000 New Jobs

The U.S. jobs market rebounded during April amidst milder spring weather with employers adding 211,000 new jobs.

This provided new evidence that March’s weakness was just a one-off incident and would not keep the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank from increasing their interest rates during its upcoming meeting.

The nation’s unemployment rate taken from a separate survey was down 0.01% to 4.4% said the Department of Labor on Friday.

Economists surveyed were expecting job gains of 190,000.

An unusual amount of strange weather patterns caused quite steep swings thus far in 2017 for payrolls. In January as well as February, unseasonably warm weather brought forward the hiring in sectors like retail, leisure and hospitality and construction with job gains for those months topping 200,000 each month.

However, that helped cause a tumble during March that offset gains that became amplified due to snowstorms across the Northeast and Midwest that left growth in employment during March at approximately 50% of the earlier rates.

Many economists were expecting more favorable weather in April to increase hiring in construction as well as other areas that had been hurt due to foul weather in March, boosting payroll additions overall by between 25,000 and 40,000.

Meanwhile, retailers have been slashing jobs as shopping has shifted with less traffic in brick and mortar traditional stores and much more online.

Analysts feel that shift will drag down job growth monthly by up to 10,000 during the next few months.

Retailers over the past year have added 58,000 new jobs which are down from an annual average during each of the last two years of 275,000.

An economist said that the hiring freeze by federal agencies from the latter part of January to the middle of April helped to curtain staff additions in the government in April by up to 10,000.

Even with the volatility related to weather, job growth monthly over the first three months of 2017 was near that of last year which averaged 180,000.

Employers have struggled to find good workers due to the unemployment rate being below 5% that has left a much smaller overall pool of Americans looking for work.

Many economists said that monthly gains in payroll would average approximately 170,000 during 2017 but that is more than sufficient to lower unemployment further.

Other indicators in the labor market were mixed. ADP the payroll processor said that businesses added 177,000 new jobs during April.