This morning's employment report from the Department of Labor showed non-farm payrolls of 165,000 were added in April, which is just above expectations of around 145,000 to be added. The unemployment rate edged down slightly to 7.5% from 7.6% last month. Employment increased in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade and health care. Revisions to the February and March figures showed an additional 114,000 jobs were added over those months alone.
In April, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 258,000 to 4.4 million; their share of the unemployed declined by 2.2 percentage points to 37.4%. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 687,000, and their share has declined by 3.1 percentage points. In April, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million, largely offsetting a decrease in March. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
The U.S. dollar index improved sharply on the release of the report, but setback in mid-morning trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen above 15,000.