An anemic hiring pace in all sectors except leisure and hospitality resulted in the April Labor Department’s job report falling far short of Wall Street’s high expectations despite the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine and easing of lockdowns in the pandemic .
CNBC examined the net industry change for jobs in April based on the data included in the Employment Report.
The manufacturing sector in particular lost jobs, while the construction industry – hampered by rising property prices and material costs when there was a shortage of housing – did not build up any net positions in April.
The only positive highlight was the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 331,000 jobs as it continued to recover from the oversized losses incurred during the height of the pandemic.
Within the industry, restaurants and bars continued to make up the bulk of hiring, adding 187,000 net jobs to the wider range of leisure and hospitality businesses. Entertainment, gambling, and recreation added just over 72,000, while the performing arts and spectator sports added 14,300 as more Americans attended live sports games and concerts.
Although the leisure and hospitality industry created 5.4 million jobs over the year, employment in the industry has declined 2.8 million, or 16.8%, since February 2020.
However, the strong numbers from leisure and hospitality were not enough to meet economists’ optimistic forecasts for the month. The Department of Labor reported Friday that the total number of non-farm workers rose by 266,000 last month, well below the 1 million Dow Jones polled economists expected.
The construction industry did not make or lose jobs in April, with a net change of zero, particularly due to the warmer spring weather in the northern US states. The unchanged month is also noteworthy in view of the interest rates close to zero and the shortage of housing.
Manufacturing lost 18,000 jobs in April and is still down around 500,000 jobs compared to before the pandemic.
– CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to the coverage.