The total number of seasonally adjusted (SA), non-farm people employed in the US in April was 146,063,000. This figure was up 2,186,000 (+1.52%) year on year and increased by of 211,000 month on month (0.14%). The economy continues to create strong overall job growth, averaging 145,000 jobs per month over the last 16 months. The SA goods producing sector total employed 19,977 in April, up 21,000 m/m and by 314,000 y/y. The SA service providing sector created 190,000 jobs m/m and 1,872,000 y/y. Total service sector employment was 126,086,000 in April.
The manufacturing sector employed 12,396,000 in April, up 6,000 m/m and by 98,000 y/y. The two largest employment categories within manufacturing are motor vehicles and parts and transportation equipment. There were 946,300 employed in the manufacture of motor vehicles and parts, up 3,000 m/m and by 19,000 y/y, while 1,617,200 worked in the transportation equipment field. Jobs in this area were flat m/m, and up 4,000 y/y, (Figure 1).
The construction sector employment a total of 6,877,000, up 5,000 m/m and by 218,000 y/y. Most construction workers are employed constructing buildings. In April there were 1,525,500 folks assembling buildings, up 1,000 m/m and by 57,000 y/y. Heavy civil engineering was the next largest construction segment employing 968,900 in April, up 4,000 m/m and by 23,000 y/y. Highway, streets and bridge construction employed 286,600 in April, flat m/m and down 39,000 y/y. Industrial building construction had 163,200 employed last month, flat m/m and up by 4,000 y/y, (Figure 2).
Government is a very large employer, greater than the entire goods producing sector with 22,340,000 total employed, up 7,000 m/m and by 260,000 y/y. Most of these workers were at the local level, 14,440,000. State government workers total was 5,094,000, while the federal government provided jobs for 2,806,000 workers in April.
Oil and gas extraction employed 181,200 people in April, up 1,000 m/m and by 6,000 y/y, Figure 3 shows that employment in oil and gas from 2010 to present. Employment peaked in December 2015 at 200,900 and bottomed-out at 172,300 In October last year. Since that time jobs have been moving up as the price of oil has recovered somewhat (Brent Crude closed at $52.48 per barrel today).
At Gerdau, we keep a keen eye on the employment numbers, especially manufacturing and construction since this is where most long product steel ends-up. In addition we know that growth in net job creation correlates to increased steel consumption.