Job Growth Slows Down, but Wages Jump

By Toni Vranjes

May 6, 2016

The headline employment figure from April isn’t very impressive. Employment growth was 160,000, a number that failed to live up to economists’ predictions.

In addition, payrolls from previous months were revised downward. For February and March combined, there were 19,000 fewer jobs than earlier reported, according to the Labor Department. Meanwhile, unemployment for April remained at 5 percent.

Nevertheless, an IHS economist says that payroll growth should gain momentum in the near future. In an analysis, Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh wrote that his organization believes the “April weakness in payroll jobs is temporary, and that in the coming months, jobs growth will rebound to 200,000 a month, or possibly more.”

According to Behravesh, the weak employment numbers were largely concentrated in construction, retail and government, which often experience strong seasonal variation.

He also highlighted a bright spot in the employment data: wages. Average hourly earnings rose by 8 cents in April, and by 2.5 percent over the last year.

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