U.S. Workforce Analysis: April 2024

Our monthly workforce analysis has been updated to include the latest employment report for April. The unemployment rate inched up to 3.9% and the number of new non-farm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 175K.

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 inched up to 3.9% which was higher than the forecasted 3.8% rate. The unemployment rate has now been below 4% for 27 consecutive months, the longest streak since the late 60s.

The age 16+ population increased by 182,000 and the labor force increased by 87,000. The breakdown of the growth is an increase of 25,000 employed and a 63,000 increase 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