By Isaac Cohen*
In contrast with high inflation, stock market volatility and rising interest rates, the job market in the United States remains a bright spot in the economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics informed that 428,000 new jobs were created in April, almost the same as in March. Therefore, after 12 consecutive months of more than 400,000 jobs created every month, 95 percent of the 22 million lost during the pandemic have been regained.
Since April 2021, 6.63 million new jobs were created, which is the second most vigorous year of job creation since 1939. As in March, unemployment in April remained the same at 3.6 percent, slightly above the 3.5 percent pre-pandemic level of February 2020, which was the lowest in 50 years.
Even so, the Labor Department informed in March there were 1.9 job openings per each unemployed worker, evidence of the difficulties for hiring new workers employers have been complaining about. Also in April, the number of persons employed or looking for work, known as the labor force participation rate, decreased by 363,000, to 62.2 percent, 1.2 percent less than the pre-pandemic level.
Additionally, wages increased only 0.3 percent last month, less that 0.5 percent in March. From a year ago, wages have increased 5.5 percent, still under the yearly increase in the consumer price index of almost 8 percent.
*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.