The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its April 2022 Report, so let’s take a look at how employment fared over the last month.
The great news: Remaining at 3.6%, unemployment is still only a tenth of a percent away from its pre-pandemic historic low of 3.5%. The industries that garnered the largest share of the latest job gains of the 428,000 jobs added in April were leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing. With only 5.9 million unemployed persons, we are almost back to the pre-pandemic low of 5.7 million unemployed persons.
The good news: Average hourly wages for all non-farm payroll employees rose 10 cents in April, or 0.3%. Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.5%.
The bad news: While wages have overall increased over the last year, this rate has not met the inflation rate of 7.9% in the same time period. In April, 1.7 million people reported that they were unable to work as a result of their employer closing or losing business due to the pandemic. Employment rates for members of the major worker groups (adult men, adult women, teenagers, Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics) showed little to no change throughout April.
Keep in mind: With low unemployment rates, rising inflation costs, cost of living increases, and more businesses looking to hire than unemployed persons actively looking for work, having a competitive salary and benefits package is going to set you up to best attract the candidates that you are looking for.
Key Takeaways: With unemployment remaining stagnant in April, but continuously approaching February 2020 lows and the cost of living continuing to rise, employers will need to raise wages to attract additional staff. While no single demographic saw overall employment gains last month, savvy employers should continue to review their diversity and inclusion practices to ensure they are attracting the best quality candidates from all backgrounds.