Asset Classes

Free investment financial education


Multilingual content from IBKR

Close Navigation
Learn more about IBKR accounts

April Job Report Shows Cooling Labor Market, Unemployment Hits 3.9%

Posted May 3, 2024 at 9:30 am
Tim Fries
The Tokenist

The April job report, a significant indicator of the U.S. labor market’s health, revealed a cooling trend with slower job growth.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the April job report on Friday, revealing a cooling labor market with narrower job gains across several major industries. The report showed that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in April, falling short of economists’ expectations.

Despite the slowdown in job growth, the unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.9%, while average hourly earnings increased by 0.2% month-over-month and 3.9% year-over-year.

Job Growth and Wage Pressures

The healthcare industry led the way in job creation, adding 56,000 jobs, followed by social assistance with 31,000 jobs, transportation and warehousing with 22,000 jobs, and retail trade with 20,000 jobs.

The average workweek was reduced to 34.3 hours, indicating a potential slowdown in economic activity. Revisions to previous months’ job growth figures showed that February’s job growth was revised down from 270,000 to 236,000, while March’s job growth was revised up from 303,000 to 315,000.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell noted that wage pressures were not creating a significant inflationary impulse, citing declining trends from peak levels during the post-pandemic recovery period. The labor force participation rate held steady at 62.7%, and the employment-population ratio remained little changed at 60.2%.

Market Reaction and Economic Implications

As of the time of writing, the stock market responded positively to the April job report, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rising by 322.37 points or 0.85%, the NASDAQ Composite increasing by 235.48 points or 1.51%, and the S&P 500 gaining 45.81 points or 0.91%.

The bond market reaction, however, suggested an increase in demand for safer investments, with the US 10-year Treasury Yield dropping by 0.096 percentage points to 4.475%, possibly due to concerns over slowing job growth and uncertainty over future economic growth.

Commodities like gold and oil rose, with gold increasing by $13.4 or 0.58% and crude oil going up by $0.59 or 0.75%, indicating a hedge against potential inflation and economic uncertainty. The Euro (EUR/USD) slightly strengthened against the dollar, moving up by 0.718%, while the Japanese Yen (USD/JPY) weakened against the dollar, dropping by 1.015%.

The April job report suggests that the U.S. economy is experiencing a gradual slowdown in job growth, which may help ease inflationary pressures. However, the slower pace of job creation also raises concerns about the sustainability of the economic recovery and the potential impact on consumer spending and business investment.

As the Federal Reserve continues to monitor the labor market and inflation data, policymakers will need to carefully navigate the challenges of maintaining price stability while supporting economic growth in the coming months.

Originally Posted May 3, 2024 – April Job Report Shows Cooling Labor Market, Unemployment Hits 3.9%

Disclosure: Tim Fries has no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, and has no plans to initiate any positions within the 72 hours following the publishing of this article. This article expresses the opinions of Tim Fries. Tokenist Media LLC has no position in any of the stocks mentioned, and does not plan to initiate any positions within 72 hours of the publishing ofthis article. Please consult our website policy for more information.

Join The Conversation

If you have a general question, it may already be covered in our FAQs. If you have an account-specific question or concern, please reach out to Client Services.

Leave a Reply

Disclosure: The Tokenist

Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult a licensed financial advisor prior to making financial decisions.

Disclosure: Interactive Brokers

Information posted on IBKR Campus that is provided by third-parties does NOT constitute a recommendation that you should contract for the services of that third party. Third-party participants who contribute to IBKR Campus are independent of Interactive Brokers and Interactive Brokers does not make any representations or warranties concerning the services offered, their past or future performance, or the accuracy of the information provided by the third party. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

This material is from The Tokenist and is being posted with its permission. The views expressed in this material are solely those of the author and/or The Tokenist and Interactive Brokers is not endorsing or recommending any investment or trading discussed in the material. This material is not and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any security. It should not be construed as research or investment advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security or commodity. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

Disclosure: Futures Trading

Futures are not suitable for all investors. The amount you may lose may be greater than your initial investment. Before trading futures, please read the CFTC Risk Disclosure. A copy and additional information are available at

Disclosure: Forex

There is a substantial risk of loss in foreign exchange trading. The settlement date of foreign exchange trades can vary due to time zone differences and bank holidays. When trading across foreign exchange markets, this may necessitate borrowing funds to settle foreign exchange trades. The interest rate on borrowed funds must be considered when computing the cost of trades across multiple markets.

IBKR Campus Newsletters

This website uses cookies to collect usage information in order to offer a better browsing experience. By browsing this site or by clicking on the "ACCEPT COOKIES" button you accept our Cookie Policy.