The real unemployment rate – April 2019 

The real unemployment rate – April 2019 

Bottom Line: There’s a lot more to the employment report than just a couple of headline numbers and after the poor showing last month – the April reporting for March became especially important. Is the economy slowing? Are we at risk of recession? What’s going on? These were among the many questions being debated over the past month. From the onset I mentioned that the sky wasn’t falling, and we’d see a much better showing with the next report. Here it is.

  • Headline unemployment rate 3.8% 
  • +196,000 jobs added in March
  • Positive revisions from past months totaling +14,000 additional jobs for a net number of +210,000 jobs
  • +180,000 job average for the first quarter of 2019

Top industries for hiring:              

  • #1 Healthcare
  • #2 Professional & Business Services     
  • #3 Food service

A few important takeaways:

  • 180,000 new jobs a month is solid with the unemployment rate near record lows and we ended the first quarter with a number above that average showing the potential for positive momentum entering Q2 
  • The government numbers continue to contain significant revisions making it important to not overreact to initial information
  • The economy is just fine

Now for the real unemployment rate once underemployed, long-term unemployed and marginally attached people are accounted for:              

  • Actual: 7.3% down from 7.9%yoy

Key takeaways:                

1. The real-unemployment rate remains the lowest it’s been since March of 2001 & there are only five months in recorded American history with a lower real unemployment rate than what we currently have. 

2. Those unaccounted for in the base unemployment rate include 1.3 million long-term unemployed, 4.5 million are underemployed & 1.4 million are marginally attached to the workforce.    

3. The labor participation rate slipped a bit to 63% 

Put it together and we ended the first quarter of the year on a high note. There's a real chance we could reach new record lows for employment in the second quarter.

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