NIC Notes

Insights in Seniors Housing & Care

By: Beth Mace  |  May 06, 2022

Employment Increased by 428k in April, Jobless Rate Unchanged at 3.6%

Economic Trends  |  Workforce

The Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls rose by 428,000 in April 2022 and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6%. The report confirms that the labor market remains resilient, despite the war in Ukraine and on-going supply-chain pressures. Concerns about rising wage costs and inflation are also backed by this report. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by $0.13 in April to $31.85. This was a gain of 5.5% from year-earlier levels, just slightly less than the 5.6% gain seen in March.

The data shows that the labor market continues to gain momentum and wage growth is accelerating. The report strengthens the Federal Reserve’s intention of raising interest rates further following the 0.50 percentage point hike in the fed funds rate announced earlier this week.

2022 NIC Notes Blog Employment May Unemployment Rate GraphV2

Jobs grew by an average of 523,000 per month in in the past three months, down from the three-month average of 602,000 in February 2022. Revisions subtracted 39,000 to total payrolls in the previous two months. Nonfarm payrolls were still down by 1.2 million or 0.8% from their pre-pandemic level in February 2020. The market consensus had been for a gain of 380,000.

In a separate survey conducted by the BLS, the jobless rate was unchanged at 3.6% in April 2022. The jobless rate is only 0.1 percentage point above the pre-pandemic level of 3.5% seen in February 2020, and well below the 14.7% peak seen in April 2020. The number of persons unemployed was essentially unchanged at 5.9 million but was still above the 5.7-million-person level seen prior to the pandemic.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (3.2%), adult men (3.54%), teenagers (10.2%), White (3.2%), Black (5.9%), Asian (3.1%), and Hispanic (4.1%) were little changed over the month.

The labor force participation rate fell 0.2 percentage point to 62.2% in April and was below the February 2020 level of 63.4%. The employment to population ratio was 60.0%, below the February 2020 level of 61.2%.

The report also showed that workers are returning to their place of work. Roughly 7.7% of employed persons teleworked because of the pandemic, down from 10.0% in the prior month, 23% in February 2021 and more than one third at the height of the pandemic.

2022 NIC Notes Blog Employment May Employment Change Graph

The April underemployment rate or the U-6 jobless rate was 7.0%, up from 6.9% in March 2022. This figure includes those who have quit looking for a job because they are discouraged about their prospects and people working part-time but desiring a full work week.

Employment in health care rose by 34,000 in April. Employment in health care was down by 250,000, or 1.5% from its level in February 2020. Employment in nursing care facilities rose by 900 positions to 1.345 million but was 44,000 less than year-earlier levels.

About Beth Mace

Beth Burnham Mace is a special advisor to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) focused exclusively on monitoring and reporting changes in capital markets impacting senior housing and care investments and operations. Mace served as Chief Economist and Director of Research and Analytics during her nine-year tenure on NIC’s leadership team. Before joining the NIC staff in 2014, Mace served on the NIC Board of Directors and chaired its Research Committee. She was also a director at AEW Capital Management and worked in the AEW Research Group for 17 years. Prior to joining AEW, Mace spent 10 years at Standard & Poor’s DRI/McGraw-Hill as director of its Regional Information Service. She also worked as a regional economist at Crocker Bank, and for the National Commission on Air Quality, the Brookings Institution, and Boston Edison. Mace is currently a member of the Institutional Real Estate Americas Editorial Advisory Board. In 2020, Mace was inducted into the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Hall of Honor. In 2014, she was appointed a fellow at the Homer Hoyt Institute and was awarded the title of a “Woman of Influence” in commercial real estate by Real Estate Forum Magazine and Globe Street. Mace earned an undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree from the University of California. She also earned a Certified Business Economist™ designation from the National Association of Business Economists.

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