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Unemployment rate sinks lower

Construction jobs, including residential contractors, saw notable gains in April

BY HBSDealer Staff

Data crunchers have to go all the way back to December 1969 to find an unemployment rate lower than the 3.6% figure released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate for April was down 0.2 percentage point from March’s reading of 3.8%. One year ago, the unemployment rate stood at 3.9%.

Construction was among the sectors that saw notable job gains, along with professional and business services, health care and social assistance. In April, construction employment rose by 33,000, with gains in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+22,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (+10,000). Construction has added 256,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

See the Labor Department’s full release here.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000 in April, compared with an average monthly gain of 213,000 over the prior 12 months.

Employment in retail trade changed little in April (-12,000). Job losses occurred in general merchandise stores (-9,000), while motor vehicle and parts dealers added 8,000 jobs.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little change over the month.

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