Hiring in the US remained strong in April despite concerns that fast rising prices and other economic disruption could lead to slowdown.
Employers added 428,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6%, the Labor Department said.
The gains were bigger than expected, marking the 16th month of expansion.
The growth is likely to bolster views at the US central bank that the economy is well positioned as it starts to raise rates to try to curb inflation.
“It keeps them on track,” said Kathy Bostjancic, chief US economist at Oxford Economics.
The US economy has recovered more quickly than many expected after shutdowns in the early months of the pandemic wiped out 22 million jobs.
Across the economy, businesses have struggled to find workers to meet demand, pushing them to raise wages at the fastest pace in years. Average hourly pay was up 5.5% year-on-year in April.
Compensation Offers Are High
Wesley Davis, a 35-year-old project manager in the tech field in Colorado, said it took him just three and a half weeks to find a new job after he started to look earlier this year.
More than a hundred messages from recruiters poured in after he updated his professional profile online to signal he was looking for work. And he said companies didn’t balk when he presented his salary requirements – and warned he was only interested in jobs offering the ability to work from home.
Ultimately, he said, he managed to nearly double his pay.
Wesley said the pandemic had shifted conditions for workers, creating more opportunities by expanding remote positions and spurring people to quit jobs at historically high rates in what has become known as the Great Resignation.
“Anyone who’s experienced, I’m encouraging to look for work because compensation offers for experienced professionals are drastically high compared to where they were,” he said.