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April Jobs Report: 115,000 Jobs Added, Unemployment Rate Drops Slightly

May 4, 2012

Hired rubber stampSome 115,000 new jobs were added to the economy in April, primarily due to increases in service sector employment. Still, the April jobs report showed fewer new jobs than expected, according to CNBC.

The report, released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, showed that about 101,000 new jobs were added in the service sector while some 16,000 new jobs came in in manufacturing. Specifically, the service sector saw new job creation in several categories, including 29,000 new jobs in retail; 21,000 new jobs for temporary agencies; and 20,000 new jobs in bars and restaurants, reported CNN Money.

Losses were also reported. Local governments shed 12,000 jobs, the transportation and warehousing sector lost 16,600 jobs, and the construction sector lost 2,000 jobs, the San Antonio Business Journal reported.

Although a total of 115,000 jobs were added in April, that is still far lower than the 165,000 new jobs that analysts had expected, according to ABC News. In fact, April's jobs gain was the smallest to be reported in the past six months.

Some experts say the variations in new jobs from the start of the year -- when they averaged 252,000 per month -- to the recent drops are a result of fluctuations in the weather.

"Some of the gains were probably pulled forward due to some of the weather issues with the mild winter," Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector research at Charles Schwab, told CNBC. "We think that we'll start to get cleaner numbers through May and June and on from there."

Overall, however, the news could be seen as good. CNBC reports there have been 26 months of job growth in all and that 800,000 new jobs have been added this year.

"Looking through the revisions and weather effects, this report indicates a labor market that continues to show a modest pace of improvement, about in line with expectations and an economy that is making some headway in recovery," Deutsche Bank Economist Peter Hooper said to ABC News.

The April jobs report also showed a small drop in the unemployment rate -- from 8.2 to 8.1 percent. Teenagers comprise the largest sector of those unemployed -- at 24.9 percent -- but some improvement is excepted with seasonal summer hiring starting. ABC News reported, for example, that Jamba Juice plans to bring in some 2,500 new summer workers at its 700-plus sites nationwide.

Still, the latest jobs report indicates that the economy has a way to go. CNN Money estimates that of the 8.8 million jobs lost during the country's recession, only 3.7 million have been recovered.


Compiled by Maggie O'Neill

Sources:

"April Jobs Report: Hiring Slows, Unemployment Falls," money.cnn.com, May 4, 2012, Annalyn Censky

"April's Jobs Report and the Youth Problem," abcnews.go.com, May 4, 2012, Susanna Kim and Bill McGuire

"Job Growth Just 115,000 in April, Rate Drops to 8.1%" cnbc.com, May, 4, 2012, Jeff Cox

"Labor Department Releases Lackluster April Jobs Report," bizjournals.com, May 4, 2012, James Aldridge

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