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Unemployment rate steady in April as health care adds 40K jobs


Department of Labor updates monthly jobless rates.

unemployment rate: © max dallocco - stock.adobe.com

© max dallocco - stock.adobe.com

The national unemployment rate changed little at 3.4% for April as the job market grew by 253,000 positions.

Health care employment grew by 40,000 in April, down from an average monthly gain of 47,000 over the last six months, according to the latest figures of the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor.

Ambulatory health care services added 24,200 jobs overall. Offices of physicians added 12,200 jobs to lead that industry, while hospitals added 6,600 jobs and nursing and residential care facilities added 8,800 workers, according to the report.

Dentists added 4,600 jobs and other health practitioners added 4,400, while medical and diagnostic laboratories added 2,500 posts and home health services employment grew by 2,300. Outpatient care centers lost 1,500 jobs and other ambulatory care services were down by 300, according to the BLS statistics.

The figures for health care and other sectors are preliminary and subject to revision.

Other sectors

Among other sectors, professional and business services added 43,000 jobs, more than the average monthly gain of 25,000 in that industry. Professional, scientific, and technical services added 45,000 jobs, while temporary services continued a downward trend, dropping by 23,000 jobs in April and down by 174,000 since peaking in March 2022.

Leisure and hospitality continued trending up, adding 31,000 jobs last month, led by 25,000 positions in food services and drinking places. That sector has added an average of 73,000 jobs a month over the last six months, but sector employment remains down 402,000 jobs, or 2.4%, from the pre-pandemic level of February 2020.

Social assistance added 25,000 jobs, keeping up with an average monthly gain of 21,000 positions over the last six months. Financial activities added 23,000 jobs in April, led by 15,000 positions with insurance carriers and 9,000 jobs in real estate.

Government employment grew by 23,000 jobs in April. Government has added an average of 52,000 jobs a month over the last six months, but overall that sector was down 301,000, or 1.3% from, the pre-pandemic level of February 2020.

Construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and other services were stable in April. The mining sector added 6,000 jobs last year and has risen by 102,000 since the most recent low of February 2021, according to the BLS figures.

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© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health