Safeguard Global exec: 'The job market is still very robust'

U.S. adds 428,000 jobs in April

Safeguard Global exec: 'The job market is still very robust'

The employment market in the United States saw some more gains in April, adding some 428,000 jobs last month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The country added the same number of jobs in March. However, more Americans than ever before – 4.54 million – also quit their jobs in March. Also, 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in February.

Among industries, the biggest gainers are manufacturing (+55,000), transportation and warehousing (+52,000) and professional and business services (+41,000) were the biggest gainers. Financial activities (+35,000), health care (+34,000), retail trade (+29,000), wholesale trade (+22,000) and mining (+9,000) also recorded jobs growth.

“It’s very encouraging that employment numbers have exceeded initial estimates in April,” Bill Armstrong, president of recruiting at Austin, TX-based HR tech firm Safeguard Global, told HRD. “The job market is still very robust. We’re continuing to see a decrease in unemployment numbers and job openings are at all-time highs.”

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Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.2%, and the employment-population 

ratio, at 60% were little changed over the month. But both are still 1.2 percentage points below their February 2020 values. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained at 3.6% in April, and the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 5.9 million.

A total of 1.7 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic. This number includes those who did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the four weeks preceding the survey due to the pandemic.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $31.85 in April. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.6 hours in April.

“We’re not hearing any of our clients telling us they’re cutting back on hiring efforts,” Armstrong told HRD. “Instead, they’re telling us they need more people. In this scenario, we would normally expect to see numbers remain fairly consistent throughout the rest of the year as companies continue to add jobs to get back to where they were pre-pandemic. However, with continuing supply chain pressures and rising interest rates, it does bear watching how this will impact future corporate spending.”

Verizon is implementing a minimum wage for workers “in recognition of the hard work and dedication” they put in, according to the New York City-based company.

´╗┐More than half of employees (51%) were more stressed about their finances in 2021 than ever before, according to a previous report. And nearly 29% of employees struggle to afford basic expenses like rent, mortgage and/or food. More than three-quarters (76%) of workers said they think about their financial situation while at work. Even worse, they’re spending at least 14 hours per week actually dealing with financial issues and nine of those hours occur during the workday.

Nearly one in four business leaders are not making any changes to pay in response to inflation, according to a previous report. This is the case even though more than half of employees want benefits their employer doesn't offer, according to another report.

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