The only real downside in the report was a 7K decline in information services employment, the seventh straight decline and the sector’s worst slump since the recession.
The 132K difference in job growth in April versus March was largely due to strong hiring in leisure and hospitality services and sharp rebounds in retail trade and healthcare.
More good news was a decline in the unemployment rate from 4.5% to 4.4% as the 156K gain in household employment far outpaced the small 12K increase in the labor force, meaning the increase in the labor force was fully absorbed, while 144K people who were already in the labor force, but were not previously working, also found new jobs.
Very weak GDP growth in the first quarter and slowing job growth and inflation in March led the Fed to hold rates steady on Wednesday. Even so, the Fed believes the recent weakness will likely not last. Today’s job report has bumped up the odds of a rate hike in June, but, as always, inflation will be key.