*Uh oh, bad news as far as jobs are concerned.
According to the Labor Department, last month (April, 2016) only 160,000 jobs were added. The figure was below analysts’ expectations and well off the 208,000 net new jobs added in March.
Some economists had predicted close to 200,000 would be created. CNN Money said that Goldman Sachs expected even higher: 240,000.
“So far in this expansion, slowdowns in employment growth were just temporary setbacks in an otherwise rapidly expanding workforce,” said Gad Levanon, the chief economist for North America at the Conference Board business group to the LA Times.
“We think this time is different,” he said. “Employers are becoming more cautious as economic growth remains moderate and profits decline.”
Naturally with the report, concerns are rising that the U.S. economy is losing momentum. Growth is off to a slow start in 2016. Experts anticipate a spring bounce, but the sluggish April jobs report suggests that pop is either delayed or not going to be very strong.
The good news however is that the unemployment rate remained at 5%. Despite more people finding jobs, the rate didn’t fall because more people have started looking for work again but have yet to land jobs.
The LA Times report added that weak April job growth was caused by continued troubles in the mining industry, caused by low energy prices, and cutbacks in government hiring.
The mining and logging industry shed 8,000 positions last month, although that was an improvement from the 12,000 net jobs lost in March. Led by the federal government, the public sector shed 11,000 net jobs after adding 24,000 in March.
Manufacturers, who have been hit hard by the rising cost of U.S. goods abroad, increased their payrolls by 4,000 positions. That was a sharp improvement over the 45,000 total positions lost during the previous two months.
Meanwhile, according to CNN Money, Wall Street and Main Street have also been watching wages. Workers are frustrated that their pay isn’t going up very fast. April actually saw a nice bounce in wages, which grew 2.5% annually. That’s still below the 3% to 3.5% that’s typical of a healthy U.S. economy, but it’s higher than wage growth in March.