U.S. Workforce Analysis: April 2023 Update

This article was originally written by Doug Short. From 2016-2022, it was improved upon and updated by Jill Mislinski. Starting in January 2023, AP Charts pages will be maintained by Jennifer Nash at Advisor Perspectives/VettaFi.


I've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include the latest employment report for April. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, its lowest level in 54 years, and the number of new non-farm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 253K.

The unemployment rate

The closely watched headline unemployment rate is a calculation of the percentage of the civilian labor force, age 16 and older, that is currently unemployed. In the latest report, this indicator fell to 3.4%. The age 16+ population increased by 171,000 and the labor force decreased by 43,000. The breakdown of the growth is an increase of 139,000 employed and a 182,000 decrease in the unemployed. Let's put this metric into its historical context. The first chart below illustrates this monthly data point since 1990.

Unemployment Rate since 1990