FROM: U.S. LABOR DEPARTMENT
OPA News Release
Five things you should know about the April employment numbers
WASHINGTON — With the release of the April 2015 Employment Situation Report today, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez says there are five things you should know about the numbers:
With 223,000 jobs added in April, private-sector employment has grown for 62 consecutive months — the longest streak on record — to the tune of 12.3 million jobs over that time.
The national unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in April, the lowest it's been since May 2008.
The unemployment rate a year ago, in April 2014, was 6.2 percent. Since that time, the labor force participation rate has held steady, which means the decline in the unemployment rate has been due to people getting jobs.
Job growth last month was particularly strong in three sectors: construction, professional and business services, and education and health services. These are sectors that have historically provided good-paying middle-class jobs.
Despite all of the progress made, wages continue to be the unfinished business of the recovery. Wage growth has been picking up, with the average hourly wage increasing by 2.2 percent over the last year. But too many working people are still earning poverty wages. It's long past time for Congress to act to raise the minimum wage so that every person can share in the prosperity being created