In March 2016, the U.S. economy created 208,000 jobs, and the April economy growth rate was not predicted to be as high by a Bloomberg economist survey. Even with the slow numbers, predictions still expected the creation of more than 200,000 jobs during April. The disappointing numbers came in 40,000 jobs less than the Bloomberg economist expected, finishing with only 160,000 new jobs for the month.
As numbers of economic growth rate slowed to a near stop in April, it officially marked the slowest job growth in two years. Unemployment remained near the same sitting securely at 5 percent. Although among major working groups, the Hispanic unemployment rate increased and now reached as high as 6.1 percent. This was second only to the African American community which had an unemployment rate at 8.8 percent, exactly double of what it is for Caucasian Americans.
There were many lay-offs in April, and that did not help economic growth whatsoever. U.S. companies laid off a seven-year high of 62,582 employees. The California-based Intel technology company let-go over 10,000 of their staffers. Intel had announced earlier this year that they planned to cut the company by at least 11 percent of their entire workforce.
There was a sliver of light in the dark numbers when it came to the number of people that are considered to be on long-term unemployment, those that have been unemployed for twenty-seven weeks or more, dropped more than 7 percent to 2.1 million, or about 150,000 people now off that list. This is important as those that have been out of work long-term make up for over a quarter of the nation’s unemployment population.
The average work week was estimated to increase by 0.3 hours. However, there was only an increase of .1, bringing the average American’s work week up to 34.5 hours per week. In other words, the majority of Americans are working not working full-time. Additionally, 34.5 hours per week means that the average American worker is working four days a week, and statistics indicate that there are only a handful of companies that offer health care to employees who are not full-time.
By T. Aaron DeGeorge
Edited by Cathy Milne
Politico: Economy created 160,000 jobs in April
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Economic News Release
Bloomberg: Economic Calender
Image Courtesy of Rob Milsom’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License