Growth in Blue Collar Jobs Slows In April

As noted in this month’s CEPR Jobs Byte, the national unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent in April. The establishment survey reported that the economy added 211,000 jobs. Roughly offsetting revisions to the prior two months’ job growth brings the average for the last three months to 174,000.

Gains in construction remained mostly flat. After jumping by 88,000 in January and February, only 6,000 construction jobs were added in March and April. Unusually good winter weather in the Midwest and Northeast likely boosted job growth earlier in the year.

Manufacturing only saw an increase of 6,000 jobs after gains of 22,000 and 13,000 jobs in February and March, respectively. Mining and logging jobs increased by 10,000, consistent with February and March, which saw increases of 12,000 and 9,000 jobs, respectively.

For an in-depth state-level analysis of the employment data in these sectors, we’ll be updating the Blue Collar jobs Tracker map later this month after the latest BLS numbers are released. You can find an analysis of the March jobs numbers here.