An anemic pace of hiring in all sectors barring leisure and hospitality caused the Labor Department’s April jobs report to fall well short of Wall Street’s lofty expectations even amid the Covid-19 vaccine rollout and an easing of pandemic-era lockdowns.
CNBC studied the net changes by industry for April jobs based on data contained in the employment report.
Notably, the manufacturing industry lost jobs while the construction industry — hampered by surging home prices and material costs amid tight housing supply — did not add any net positions in April.
The lone positive standout was the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 331,000 positions as it continued to recover from outsized losses incurred during the height of the pandemic.
Within the industry, restaurants and bars continued to carry the bulk of the hiring and contributed 187,000 net jobs to the broader leisure and hospitality figure. Amusements, gambling and recreation contributed just over 72,000 while performing arts and spectator sports added 14,300 as a greater number of Americans attended live athletic games and concerts.
Although leisure and hospitality has added 5.4 million jobs over the year, employment in the industry is down by 2.8 million, or 16.8%, since February 2020.
Still, the strong numbers from leisure and hospitality were not enough to meet economists’ optimistic projections for the month. The Labor Department reported Friday that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 last month, far below the 1 million expected by economists polled by Dow Jones.
Construction neither gained nor lost jobs in April with a net change of zero, notably flat as warmer springtime weather settled over northern U.S. states. The no-change month is also noteworthy given near-zero interest rates and a tight housing supply.
The manufacturing sector lost 18,000 jobs in April and is still down about 500,000 jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels.
— CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed reporting.