April Jobs Report: Return to Normalcy

I got so caught up in the British elections stuff this morning that I temporarily forgot it was Jobs Report Friday! The April report from BLS was pretty much in line with expectations: 223,000 net new jobs, and the official unemployment rate ticking down from 5.5% to 5.4%. This largely confirms the belief that the bad jobs gain numbers for March (accentuated by a downward revision of 41,000 today) were a temporary result of winter weather. All the other major numbers–wages, job participation rate, etc.–were more or less flat.

And overall, this return to normalcy will likely be comforting to the markets, and minimally unsettling to the Fed, which appears to have quietly decided to put off any interest rate hikes until the fall at the earliest.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.