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Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in April. Forty states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases, three states had increases, and seven states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, while seven states had increases. The national jobless rate was little changed in April, at 7.5 percent, but was 0.6 percentage point lower than a year earlier.
In April, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 30 states, decreased in 18 states and the District of Columbia, and was unchanged in 2 states. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in Texas (+33,100), New York (+25,300), and Florida (+17,000). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Wisconsin (-24,100), followed by Minnesota (-11,400). Colorado, Hawaii, Missouri, and Nevada had the largest over-the-month percentage increases in employment (+0.5 percent each). Wisconsin (-0.9 percent) and Minnesota (-0.4 percent) had the largest over-the-month percentage declines in employment. Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 47 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 3 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increases occurred in North Dakota (+3.7 percent) and Utah (+3.5 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Wyoming (-0.5 percent) and Maine (-0.3 percent).
Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)
In April, the West continued to have the highest regional unemployment rate, 8.0 percent, while the South again had the lowest rate, 7.1 percent. Over the month, three regions had statistically significant unemployment rate changes: the Northeast and West (-0.3 percentage point each) and the South (-0.1 point). Significant over-the-year rate changes occurred in the same three regions: the West (-1.4 percentage points), South (-0.7 point), and Northeast (-0.5 point).
Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to have the highest jobless rate, 8.5 percent in April. The West North Central again had the lowest rate, 5.4 percent. Three divisions had statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate changes: the Middle Atlantic (-0.4 percentage point), Pacific (-0.3 point), and South Atlantic (-0.2 point). Three divisions had significant rate changes from a year earlier: the Pacific (-1.6 percentage points) and the Mountain and South Atlantic (-0.9 point each).
State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)
Nevada had the highest unemployment rate among the states in April, 9.6 percent. The next highest rates were in Illinois (9.3 percent), Mississippi (9.1 percent), and California (9.0 percent). North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 3.3 percent. In total, 19 states had jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 7.5 percent, 8 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 23 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.
Fifteen states had statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate changes in April, all of which were declines. The largest of these occurred in California, New York, and South Carolina (-0.4 percentage point each). The remaining 35 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not measurably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.
The largest jobless rate declines from April 2012 occurred in Nevada (-1.9 percentage points), Rhode Island (-1.8 points), and California and Florida (-1.7 points each). Eleven additional states had smaller but also statistically significant decreases over the year. The remaining 35 states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rates that were not appreciably different from those of a year earlier.
Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)
In April 2013, nine states had statistically significant over-the-month changes in employment, seven of which were increases. The largest statistically significant job gains occurred in Texas (+33,100) and New York (+25,300). The two statistically significant job decreases occurred in Wisconsin (-24,100) and Minnesota (-11,400).
Over the year, 28 states had statistically significant changes in employment, all of which were positive. The largest over-the-year job increase occurred in Texas (+326,100), followed by California (+273,100), Florida (+119,100), and New York (+111,600).
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,017,000. This is 14.3 percent above the revised March rate of 890,000 and is 35.8 percent above the April 2012 estimate of 749,000.
Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 617,000; this is 3.0 percent above the revised March figure of 599,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 374,000 in April.
Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 853,000. This is 16.5 percent (±5.2%) below the revised March estimate of 1,021,000, but is 13.1 percent above the April 2012 rate of 754,000.
Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 610,000; this is 2.1 percent below the revised March figure of 623,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 234,000.
Privately-owned housing completions in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 689,000. This is 14.3 percent below the revised March estimate of 804,000, but is 3.3 percent above the April 2012 rate of 667,000.
Single-family housing completions in April were at a rate of 536,000; this is 9.8 percent below the revised March rate of 594,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 149,000.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.4 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.
As was the case in March, a sharp decrease in the gasoline index was the primary cause of the decline in the seasonally adjusted all items index. The fuel oil index also declined while the electricity and natural gas indexes increased; the net result was a 4.3 percent decrease in the energy index. The food index, unchanged in March, rose 0.2 percent in April.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in April, the same increase as in March. The indexes for shelter, used cars and trucks, new vehicles, and tobacco all increased in April. These increases were partially offset by declines in the indexes for apparel, airline fares, and recreation.
The all items index increased 1.1 percent over the last 12 months, the smallest 12-month increase since November 2010. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.7 percent over the span; this was its smallest 12-month increase since June 2011. The food index rose 1.5 percent while the energy index declined 4.3 percent.
The food index increased 0.2 percent in April after being unchanged in March. The index for food at home turned up in April, increasing 0.1 percent after declining 0.1 percent the prior month. Four of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased in April. The largest increase was for the cereals and bakery products index, which rose 0.6 percent. The indexes for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, and for other food at home both increased 0.4 percent, while the nonalcoholic beverages index rose 0.3 percent. In contrast, the index for fruits and vegetables fell 1.4 percent in April as the indexes for fresh fruits and fresh vegetables both declined for the second straight month. The index for dairy and related products was unchanged in April after declining in February and March. Over the last 12 months, the food at home index has risen 1.0 percent with all the major component groups increasing over that span except nonalcoholic beverages, which fell 0.2 percent. The index for food away from home increased 0.3 percent in April; this was its largest increase since August and it has risen 2.3 percent over the past year.
The energy index declined significantly for the second straight month, falling 4.3 percent in April after a 2.6 percent decline in March. The gasoline index, down 4.4 percent in March, fell 8.1 percent in April. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices decreased 3.7 percent in April.) The index for fuel oil also continued to decline, falling 4.4 percent after decreasing 2.1 percent the prior month. However, the index for natural gas increased sharply in April; its 4.4 percent increase was its largest since July 2008. The electricity index also rose, increasing 0.5 percent. Over the past 12 months, the index for gasoline has declined 8.3 percent and the fuel oil index has fallen 5.6 percent. In contrast to these declines, the index for natural gas has risen 7.6 percent and the electricity index has increased 1.1 percent.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in April, the same increase as in March. The shelter index increased 0.2 percent for the fourth month in a row. The indexes for rent and for owners’ equivalent rent both advanced 0.2 percent. The index for used cars and trucks increased for the fourth month in a row, rising 0.6 percent in April. The index for new vehicles rose as well, advancing 0.3 percent. The tobacco index turned up, rising 0.6 percent in April after declining in February and March. The medical care index was unchanged in April, the first time it failed to rise since July 2010. The index for medical care commodities rose 0.1 percent, while the medical care services index fell 0.1 percent with the hospital services index declining 0.7 percent. Among the indexes declining in April was the apparel index, which fell 0.3 percent, its third consecutive decrease. The index for airline fares also fell, declining 0.7 percent, and the recreation index decreased 0.1 percent. The index for household furnishings and operations also fell 0.1 percent, its fourth decline in the last five months.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.7 percent for the 12 months ending April. This is slightly below the 1.9 percent average annual increase for the past ten years. The shelter index rose 2.2 percent over the past year, with the rent index increasing 2.7 percent and owners’ equivalent rent rising 2.1 percent.
Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.5 percent from March to April, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from an increase of 0.2 percent in average hourly earnings combined with a decrease of 0.4 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).
Real average weekly earnings was unchanged over the month due to the increase in real average hourly earnings being offset by a 0.6 percent decrease in the average workweek.
Real average hourly earnings rose 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, from April 2012 to April 2013. The increase in real average hourly earnings, combined with a 0.3 percent decrease in the average workweek, resulted in a 0.5 percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.
Production and nonsupervisory employees
Real average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees increased 0.6 percent from March to April, seasonally adjusted. This resulted from an increase of 0.1 percent in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.5 percent decrease in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
Real average weekly earnings increased 0.3 percent over the month due to the increase in real average hourly earnings more than offsetting a decrease of 0.3 percent in the average workweek.
Real average hourly earnings rose 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, from April 2012 to April 2013. The increase in real average hourly earnings, combined with an unchanged average workweek, resulted in a 0.8 percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.
The Producer Price Index for finished goods decreased 0.7 percent in April, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Prices for finished goods fell 0.6 percent in March and increased 0.7 percent in February. At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods declined 0.6 percent, and the crude goods index moved down 0.4 percent. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods advanced 0.6 percent for the 12 months ended April 2013, the smallest 12-month rise since a 0.5-percent increase in July 2012.
In April, over eighty percent of the decrease in the finished goods index can be traced to a 2.5-percent drop in prices for finished energy goods. Also contributing to the decline in finished goods prices, the index for finished consumer foods fell 0.8 percent. By contrast, prices for finished goods less foods and energy advanced 0.1 percent in April.
Finished energy: The index for finished energy goods moved down 2.5 percent in April after falling 3.4 percent in March. Over ninety percent of the April decrease is attributable to gasoline prices, which dropped 6.0 percent. Lower prices for home heating oil and residential electric power also were factors in the decline in the index for finished energy goods.
Finished foods: Prices for finished consumer foods moved down 0.8 percent in April, the largest decrease since a 1.0-percent drop in May 2011. Half of the April decline can be traced to the index for fresh and dry vegetables, which fell 10.6 percent. Lower meat prices also were a major factor in the decrease in the index for finished consumer foods.
Finished core: The index for finished goods less foods and energy inched up 0.1 percent in April following increases of 0.2 percent in each of the previous four months. Leading the April rise, prices for pharmaceutical preparations climbed 0.6 percent.
The Producer Price Index for intermediate materials, supplies, and components fell 0.6 percent in April subsequent to a 0.9-percent decrease a month earlier. Accounting for over two-thirds of the broad-based decline in April, prices for intermediate energy goods dropped 2.1 percent. The index for intermediate goods less foods and energy moved down 0.2 percent, and prices for intermediate foods and feeds fell 0.9 percent. For the 12 months ended in April, the intermediate goods index decreased 1.0 percent, the largest year-over-year decline since a 1.0-percent drop in August 2012. (See table B.)
Intermediate energy: Prices for intermediate energy goods fell 2.1 percent in April after a 4.7-percent decline in March. A major factor in the April decrease was the index for diesel fuel, which moved down 3.5 percent. Lower prices for gasoline and jet fuel also contributed significantly to the decline in the index for intermediate energy goods.
Intermediate core: The index for intermediate goods less foods and energy moved down 0.2 percent in April following four consecutive advances. Leading this decline, prices for primary basic organic chemicals dropped 5.3 percent. Falling prices for plastic resins and materials also contributed to the decrease in the intermediate core index.
Intermediate foods: Prices for intermediate foods and feeds moved down 0.9 percent in April following a 0.1-percent increase in the prior month. Nearly three-quarters of the April decline was the result of a 2.6-percent decrease in the prepared animal feeds index.
The Producer Price Index for crude materials for further processing declined 0.4 percent in April. For the 3 months ended in April, crude goods prices moved down 3.2 percent subsequent to a 2.6-percent increase for the 3 months ended in January. The April monthly decrease was led by the index for crude foodstuffs and feedstuffs, which fell 2.6 percent. Prices for crude nonfood materials less energy moved down 2.8 percent. By contrast, the crude energy materials index advanced 3.7 percent.
Crude foods: Prices for crude foodstuffs and feedstuffs moved down 2.6 percent in April. From January to April, the index for crude foods decreased 2.9 percent compared with a 0.5-percent rise from October to January. In April, about seventy percent of the monthly decline is attributable to prices for corn, which fell 11.5 percent. Decreases in the indexes for hay, hayseeds, and oilseeds and for fresh vegetables, except potatoes, also were factors in the drop in crude foods prices.
Crude core: In April, prices for crude nonfood materials less energy decreased 2.8 percent. For the 3 months ended in April, the crude core index fell 3.5 percent after rising 2.8 percent in the previous 3- month period. Accounting for more than one-third of the monthly decline in April, nonferrous metals prices moved down 2.6 percent. Lower prices for corn also were a factor in the crude core decrease.
Crude energy: The index for crude energy materials increased 3.7 percent in April. From January to April, crude energy prices dropped 3.0 percent compared with a 4.7-percent climb for the 3 months ended in January. The April monthly advance is mostly attributable to a 15.5-percent jump in the index for natural gas.
Trade industries: The Producer Price Index for the net output of total trade industries advanced 1.6 percent in April, the largest increase since a 1.6-percent increase in August 2011. (Trade indexes measure changes in margins received by wholesalers and retailers.) Forty percent of the April rise is attributable to margins received by merchant wholesalers of durable goods, which advanced 2.7 percent. Higher margins received by discount department stores and gasoline stations also contributed to the increase in the total trade industries index.
Transportation and warehousing industries: The Producer Price Index for the net output of transportation and warehousing industries moved down 0.3 percent in April after rising 0.7 percent in March. Leading the decrease, prices for scheduled air transportation fell 1.8 percent. Lower prices received by the industry groups for truck transportation and inland water transportation also were factors in the decline in the transportation and warehousing industries index.
Services less trade, transportation, and warehousing: The Producer Price Index for the net output of services less trade, transportation, and warehousing moved up 0.4 percent in April after declining 0.3 percent in March. Nearly a quarter of this increase is attributable to a 4.3-percent advance in the index for wireless telecommunications carriers. Higher prices received by the industries for portfolio management and commercial banking also contributed to the rise in the index for services less trade, transportation, and warehousing.
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for March, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,269.6 billion, down 1.1 percent from February 2013 and up 1.8 percent from March 2012.
Manufacturers’ and trade inventories, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $1,640.9 billion, virtually unchanged from February 2013 and up 4.5 percent from March 2012.
The total business inventories/sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of March was 1.29. The March 2012 ratio was 1.26.