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Job Growth Slows In April

Amanda Martinez |
May 4, 2012 | 8:56 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

(Creative Commons)
(Creative Commons)
Bad news for the job market: hiring slowed in April with employers adding only 115,000 jobs compared to 154,000 jobs added in March.

According to CNN, the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent as 342,000 workers stopped searching for work.  The portion of the working-age population participating in the job market is at its lowest level since 1981 at 63.6 percent.

Ian Shepherdson, the chief United States economist at High Frequency Economists, pointed to the warm winter months for an increased hiring rate earlier in the year or the higher gas prices.

"We had a run of great numbers earlier in the year, and then we get a clear softening in the last couple of months," said Ian Shepherdson.  "If it's the gas price effect, it ought to reverse, since wholesale gas prices dropped sharply over the last few weeks."

The majority of the jobs gains in April came from retailers, food services and temporary-help agencies, compared to higher paying industries in March including architecture, engineering and computer design, said the LA Times.

The Associated Press reports the new findings may not bode well for President Obama come re-election time.  On the flip side voters could choose to focus on the falling unemployment rate, with unemployment likely to be lower than the 9.8 percent it was in November 2010, strengthening his bid.  The news also negatively impacted the stock market with the Dow sinking 113 points and 0.9 percent in the first hour of trading.

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