Walmart jobs cut, unemployment rate rises in US
WASHINGTON (AP) The number of Americans looking for work has soared to more than 3 million, up from 2.3 million the previous week, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It’s also up slightly from the 2.1 million jobs created last week, and the lowest level since August, when the unemployment rate was 5.8%.
The increase is the biggest since August 2014.
Wages rose 1.2% last month, the strongest gain since June.
The number is up by about 300,000 from a year ago.
The BLS data is released daily.
The data comes amid a broader hiring surge, with the number of new jobs added in April up 2.7% from a month earlier.
That is the fastest pace of growth since March of this year.
The Labor Department is tracking a new peak in hiring in May, but it doesn’t track the rate of new hires.
Job gains were fueled in part by a sharp uptick in self-employment, where people work full-time and take time off from their jobs to care for their families.
That helped the number rise in April, from a previous monthly low of 1.9 million.
Some economists believe the increase in self work could lead to a rise in part-time work.
That’s a concern for many Americans who are struggling to find jobs.
“It seems like we are getting more self-employed,” said Peter Morici, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute.
The self-help phenomenon also fueled the overall increase in hiring.
The jobs number is based on a broad measure of hiring that includes all people working full time but not people who want full- time work but have fewer hours than full-timers.
“We’ve had some very large increases in part time work,” said Doug Band, senior vice president of labor economics at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.
Some experts are concerned about a surge in part jobs.
About 3.4 million jobs were created in March, the Labor Department said.
That was the largest increase since December of 2014.
The last time the number was that high was in July of that year, when 3.1-million jobs were added.
The government said the increase could continue to grow, with about 2.4m jobs added this year, and 2.9m in 2018.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis, a branch of the U.S. Census Bureau, said that despite the increase, jobs created were higher than the number who wanted full- or part- time employment.
About 5.3% of Americans want full or part time jobs, the BLS said.
About 4.5% of people want part-timing, or working from home, and about 3.9% want part time.
About 1.4% want full time work, while about 0.9%, or fewer, want part times.
The bureau said that part- and full-season jobs fell in March and April, but they were still higher than in the same months last year.
This was the first time in more than two years that part time and part-season employment was lower than full time employment, and that was the highest for a full-year period since May 2015.
“There is a trend for part- or full-monthly employment to be lower,” said Dave Mankiw, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.
He said that might be partly because employers have seen an uptick in part timers.
The unemployment rate in the past year fell to 6.9%.
Read more: Walmart cuts jobs, unemployment rise in US