Primer for April Employment Data
Our forecast includes 225,000 nonfarm jobs for April, with gains concentrated in the health care, retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. Lodging and amusement parks have added a lot of new space that now needs to be staffed. The ongoing expansion in retail hiring is a bit of a puzzle, but suggests that we may be undercounting consumer spending.The only downside risk is the weather, which was cooler than usual across much of the Northeast but hotter than normal out West. There’s a risk that the cooler weather in the Northeast with its large population centers could dampen Spring retail spending on clothing particularly. The West could provide an offset.
Jobs in professional services, outside of the temporary help sector, are expected to continue to post solid gains as the market for new college graduates firms. More construction jobs are expected to offset another decline in manufacturing; the auto sector, however, is expected to do better than manufacturing employment overall.