Signs Point to Strong April Jobs Report

May 5, 2010
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Today’s ADP employment report showed the private sector added jobs for the third month in a row. The 32,000 jobs added in April was in line with what economists expected, while the report itself is expected to foreshadow an even more robust jobs  report coming Friday from the  federal government.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected by economists to show the U.S. economy grew anywhere from about 180,000 to 189,000 jobs in April. If so, that would be the biggest gain since Nov. 2007. In March, the economy added 162,000 jobs, a number the BLS is likely to revise when the April numbers are released in two days.

“The slow pace of improvement from February through April is consistent with the pause in the decline of initial unemployment claims that occurred during the winter months,” explained Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC. The ADP report is drawn from the payrolls the company processes for several hundred thousand U.S. clients. ADPs partner Macroeconomic Advisers handles the statistical analysis.

Prakken observed that the ADP report doesn’t include government hiring. The BLS report does, and will include the thousands of temp jobs added by the U.S. Census Bureau. Still, the ADP report estimated that 50,000 jobs were added in the service sector,while manufacturing added 29,000. Nearly all the new jobs came from companies larger than 50 employees.

The feeling that the economy is on the mend and that things may be looking up is beginning to be shared by Main Street citizens. Last week, the Consumer Confidence Index jumped more than 5 points. It now stands at 57.9, more than 18 points abover where it was in April of last year.

Says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: “The Index is now at its highest reading in about a year and a half (September 2008, 61.4). Consumers’ concerns about current business and labor market conditions eased again. And, their outlook regarding business conditions and the labor market was also more positive than last month. Looking ahead, continued job growth will be key in sustaining positive momentum.”

Another economic indicator, the number of jobs advertised online, also took a big positive swing in April. The Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine Data Series showed there were 4.15 million openings advertised online in April, an increase of 222,700 jobs over the March count.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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