What’s happening in the US job market?

    • The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics has just released its most recent results for the month of April 2024 and the Employment Situation report for the USA showed a mixed picture. The headline numbers?

      Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 while the unemployment rate remained largely unchanged at 3.9 percent. 

      Let’s delve into the key highlights and analyse the trends in various sectors.

      Increases in Employment

      Health Care

      • Health care added 56,000 jobs in April, consistent with the average monthly gain of 63,000 over the past year.
      • Employment continued to rise in ambulatory health care services, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities.

      Social Assistance

      • Employment in social assistance increased by 31,000, led by gains in individual and family services.
      • This sector had added an average of 21,000 jobs per month over the past year.

      Transportation and Warehousing

      • The sector saw an addition of 22,000 jobs in April, particularly in couriers and messengers, and warehousing and storage.
      • Over the past year, employment in transportation and warehousing showed minimal net change.

      Retail Trade

      • Employment in retail trade continued its upward trend with an increase of 20,000 jobs in April.
      • Growth was observed in general merchandise retailers, building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, and health and personal care retailers.

      Decreases in Employment


      • Construction employment remained relatively unchanged in April, following a significant increase of 40,000 jobs in March.
      • Despite this stagnation, the sector had added an average of 22,000 jobs per month over the past year.

      Predictions for the Next Six Months

      Based on the data presented in the April 2024 report, several trends and predictions can be made for the upcoming months:

      1. Continued Growth in Health Care and Social Assistance: The consistent increase in employment in these sectors over the past year suggests continued demand for services. With the ageing population and ongoing healthcare needs, employment in health care is likely to remain robust.
      2. Stability in Retail Trade: While retail trade saw moderate growth in April, the sector may experience fluctuations in employment due to factors like consumer spending habits, distractions caused by the upcoming election in November and economic uncertainty. However, with economic recovery underway, retail employment is expected to remain relatively stable.
      3. Construction Sector Outlook: The construction sector, which experienced a minor setback in April, is poised for steady growth as infrastructure projects and housing demands persist.
      4. Government Employment: Government employment showed little change in April, but fluctuations may occur at the local, state, and federal levels due to budgetary constraints and policy decisions, especially leading into the election.
      5. Wage Growth and Work Hours: Average hourly earnings increased by 3.9 percent over the past year, indicating wage growth outpacing inflation. However, fluctuations in work hours suggest potential variations in labour demand across industries.

      The April 2024 Employment Situation report reflects modest job gains across various sectors, future trends will be influenced by factors such as economic policies, global events, and technological advancements. For the talent sourcing industry the opportunities clearly lie in health care and social assistance sectors with the retail sector probably presenting more uncertainty.

      This post continues Ubidy’s previous analysis of global labour market trends and what it means for the talent sourcing industry.