The Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington DC reported Friday that the U.S. economy racked up a solid 223,000 new jobs last month, making April the 13th of the last 14 months that the economy has clocked over 200,000 new jobs.

The latest jobs spike seems to confirm that March’s anemic 85,000 jobs gain, revised downward from an original 126,000, was indeed an aberration owing to the severe winter, a soaring dollar, a collapse in oil prices and maybe the West Coast dock strike.  

Human Resources Legislation

INTELLIGENCE FOR HCM PROFESSIONALS

Stay Informed About Changing Compliance Regulations & Workforce Trends
Read the HR Legislation Blog to stay on top of complex HR & Payroll policy issues

Job Growth Rocks After March Stumble

Fri May 8, 2015

The Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington DC reported Friday that the U.S. economy racked up a solid 223,000 new jobs last month, making April the 13th of the last 14 months that the economy has clocked over 200,000 new jobs.

The latest jobs spike seems to confirm that March’s anemic 85,000 jobs gain, revised downward from an original 126,000, was indeed an aberration owing to the severe winter, a soaring dollar, a collapse in oil prices and maybe the West Coast dock strike. 

The good news on jobs translated into a further dip in the nation’s unemployment rate, to a seven-year record 5.4% and, by many definitions, “full” employment. During the trough of the Great Recession in October 2009 the unemployment rate actually hit 10%, new evidence that our once-sick labor market has fully recovered.

Ceridian’s Human Resources Legislation blog said in March that recent upbeat jobs news “doesn’t get much better.” In fact, the newly released jobs report is better—the U.S. economy has snapped back from the winter doldrums and is picking up speed.

Before uncorking the Champagne, however, it’s worth noting that Friday’s report describes the national or macro jobs picture—and it’s unquestionably bright. But not everyone is celebrating: the local or micro jobs situation remains a decidedly mixed bag.

While cities like Omaha, Austin, Provo, Boulder, Ann Arbor, Dallas, San Antonio, Boston and Washington DC boast unemployment rates far below the national average, cities like Spokane, Las Vegas, Waterbury, Fresno and others grapple with higher unemployment rates, according to the BLS.

And, of course, the recent disturbances in Baltimore spotlighted that unemployment rates in some inner cities, including even metropolitan areas with low unemployment, and especially among minorities and young people, too often are much higher than the 2009 national peaks.

Friday’s jobs headline will be that U.S. countercyclical policy, especially by the Federal Reserve, has worked to restore the economy and heal the overall job market. But more needs to be done to create job opportunities for the people and places so far untouched by national policy.