Non-farm payrolls up 115, 000 in April, weaker than expected
April non-farm payrolls increased by 115,000 sfrom March, below expectations of 160,000. The April reading was also weaker than the prior increase: 154,000 from February to March (revised from 120,000). Government payrolls decreased by 15,000 in April, similar to the previous month (-12,000 in March), so government employment keeps acting as a drag on total non-farm payrolls. Private non-farm payrolls increased by 130,000 in April, lower than the March increase of 166,000 (revised from 121,000) and also below expectations of an increase of 165,000.
Unemployment rate and average earnings were lower than expected
Unemployment in April continued down, to 8.1 percent, from 8.2 percent. This was 0.1 percentage points below expectations. Average hourly earnings in April did not change (i.e. 0.0 percent m-o-m), taking the y-o-y comparison to 1.8 percent in April, down from 2.0 percent in March. This was below expectations of a 0.2 percent increase m-o-m (coinciding with the increase in March). Average weekly hours remained at 34.5, as expected.