U.S. job growth slows

Job growth continues in the United States, although at a slower pace.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 266,000 and the unemployment rate edged up a tenth of a point to 6.1 percent in April, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates.

What was initially estimated as a gain of 916,000 jobs in March was revised downward to 770,000. The increase for February was revised upward to 536,000.

Nonfarm employment is down 8.2 million, about 5.4 percent, from its pre-pandemic peak in February 2020..

For April, 9.8 million people were counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work. Of those, 4.2 million have been unemployed 27 weeks or longer. Another 5.2 million people were counted among those working part-time because their hours were cut or they were unable to find full-time positions. The labor participation rate edged up two-tenths of a point to 61.7 percent.

Payroll gains were spread out among a number of industry sectors.

Employment increased 331,000 in the leisure and hospitality sector as pandemic restrictions eased and restaurants brought back staff. Still, employment in the sector is down 2.8 million, or about 16.8 percent, from February 2020.

Payrolls rose 44,000 in other services, 31,000 in local government education, 23,000 in social assistance and 19,000 in financial activities.

Temporary help services cut 111,0000 jobs, while courier help lost 77,000 jobs and manufacturing payrolls declined 18,000. Retail trade employment dropped 15,000.

The average workweek edged up a tenth of an hour to 35 hours. The manufacturing workweek held steady at 40.5 hours.

Average hourly earnings increased 21 cents to $30.17.