While a report
released by the Labor Department on Friday showed a continued decrease
in employment in the month of April, the report showed that economy
lost far fewer jobs than economists had been anticipating.
report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 539,000 jobs in
April following a revised decrease of 699,000 jobs in March. The
decrease in employment marked the smallest drop in jobs since October
Economists had expected a decrease of about 600,000 jobs
compared to the decrease of 663,000 originally reported for the
However, with the continued decrease in jobs, the
total number of jobs lost since the recession began in December 2007
rose to 5.7 million.
The Labor Department also said that the
unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent in April from 8.5 percent in
March. The increase, which lifted the unemployment rate to a new
25-year high, came in line with economist estimates.
the chief economist at FTN Financial, noted, Even the four-tenths rise
in the unemployment rate was less than the five tenths rise in March.
And so the discussion shifts from 'recession or recovery' to 'strong
recovery, or weak?'
The continued decrease in jobs reflected
notable declines in employment in both the good-producing and
service-providing sectors. While goods-producing sectors lost 270,000
jobs, service-providing sectors lost 269,000 jobs.
Continued weakness in both the manufacturing and construction sectors contributed to the decrease in goods-producing jobs.
drop in service-providing jobs came as a notable decrease in employment
in the professional and businesses services sector more than offset
increases in government and education and health services jobs.
report also showed that employees' average hourly earnings edged up
$0.01 to $18.51 in April. The modest increase follows a $0.04 increase
Earlier this week, Automatic Data Processing (ADP) released a report
showing a continued decrease in private sector employment in the month
of April, although the decrease in jobs was much smaller than
economists had expected.
The report showed that non-farm private
employment fell by 491,000 jobs in April following a revised decrease
of 708,000 jobs in March. Economists had expected a decrease of 645,000
jobs compared to the loss of 742,000 jobs originally reported for the
The smaller than expected decrease in private
sector jobs marked the smallest monthly decrease since a loss of
352,000 jobs in October 2008.