Job growth in the U.S. held steady in April despite concerns about inflation and the impact of the Ukraine war on the global economy.
Employers added 428,000 new jobs in April, on par with growth in March. The unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 3.6%.
The report “shows a job market making steady progress,” Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, said on Twitter. At the current pace of employment growth, the economy is set to recover all of the jobs lost in the pandemic by this summer.
Gains in leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and transportation and warehousing led the increases. Average hourly wages increased a robust 5.5% over the last 12 months, although that is well below the rate of inflation.
By other measures, the job market remains unusually tight. The Labor Department reported this week that only 1.38 million Americans were collecting traditional unemployment benefits, the fewest since 1970. Employers posted a record-high 11.5 million job openings in March, with layoffs remaining below pre-pandemic levels.
The economy now has an average of two available jobs for every unemployed person — the highest such proportion on record. In another sign that workers are enjoying unusual leverage in the labor market, a record 4.5 million people quit their jobs in March, evidently confident that they could find a better opportunity elsewhere.
This is a developing story. The Associated Press contributed reporting.