There was welcome news in the Labor Department's April job report - a strong gain in employment; the best in nearly four years. In addition, sharp revisions to February and March added an additional 121,000 workers to previously reported tallies.
Even excluding temporary Census workers, the April number was strong with a gain of 224,000 jobs. Economists had predicted the addition of 180,000 jobs, so the report came as a positive surprise to the markets.
In April, nearly 5,000 jobs were created in this industry and additional revisions for the previous two months now takes us to a slight positive job gain for 2010 to date.
What we have seen for the past eight months is an extended trough with little net movement since last September. So it is a welcome positive tone for April, and we have hopes for continued movement in a positive direction.
Finance & Insurance
The broader category of banks, insurance and securities, however, saw a continuing slide in jobs with nearly 4,000 jobs lost in the month and bringing the total job loss to over 21,000 for the year-to-date. Since peak employment in July 2007, this group has lost over 525,000 jobs.
The most positive thing about April's report is the moderation in the rate of job losses, giving hope to an increase in hiring as financial institutions and the economy continue to recover.