Following the March NFP disappointment, it was only reasonable to expect a modest beat in this month's data which came at +165,000, on expectations of +140,000, and following a revision to the March number from 88K to 138K. The unemployment rate declined from 7.6% to 7.5% beating, expectations of an unchanged print. The flipside, as always, is that the labor participation rate remained flat, at 63.3%, once again the lowest since 1979.
From the report:
The unemployment rate, at 7.5 percent, changed little in April but has declined by 0.4 percentage point since January. The number of unemployed persons, at 11.7 million, was also little changed over the month; however, unemployment has decreased by 673,000 since January. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women (6.7 percent) declined in April, while the rates for adult men (7.1 percent), teenagers (24.1 percent), whites (6.7 percent), blacks (13.2 percent), and Hispanics (9.0 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.1 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
In April, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 258,000 to 4.4 million; their share of the unemployed declined by 2.2 percentage points to 37.4 percent. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 687,000, and their share has declined by 3.1 percentage points. (See table A-12.)
The civilian labor force participation rate was 63.3 percent in April, unchanged over the month but down from 63.6 percent in January. The employment-population ratio, 58.6 percent, was about unchanged over the month and has shown little movement, on net, over the past year. (See table A-1.)
In April, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million, largely offsetting a decrease in March. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)
In April, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 835,000 discouraged workers in April, down by 133,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.
That said, as previewed earlier, the number itself is merely noise, since no matter the outcome, the market would have taken a bad number as positive for more QE, and a good number as "confirming" the first modest macro improvement in the past two months.