April Job Fillings Sharply Missed Predictions


U.S. companies added far fewer jobs than was expected last month, suggesting the tightest labor market in decades. Only 247,000 jobs were added in April, sharply missing the 395,000 gain that economists predicted and marking a big decline from the 479,000 jobs added in March.

The slowdown in hiring largely stemmed from small businesses, as companies with fewer than 50 workers actually saw payrolls plunge by 120,000 last month. The decline was even more pronounced in businesses with fewer than 19 workers, with those employers accounting for the bulk of the losses last month, shedding 96,000 jobs. Large businesses that employ 500 or more workers helped offset these declines, hiring 321,000 new workers last month.

A separate Labor Department report recently revealed that there were about 11.5 million open jobs by the end of March – a fresh high. At the same time, a record 4.5 million workers quit their jobs as they continue to search for better wages and working conditions.

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