Activity in the nation’s labor market “declined modestly” last month even as momentum remained high, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
The activity portion of the Kansas City Fed’s Labor Market Conditions Index fell to a negative 0.252 in April from a negative 02.15 in March. The negative number means activity is below normal, though it has been increasing steadily since 2010.
April’s mixed message from the Kansas City Fed’s index counters a strong jobs report for the month from the Department of Labor. It had said unemployment fell to 5.4 percent after holding at 5.5 percent for two months.
A measure of job market momentum from the Kansas City Fed improved to 0.92 last month from 0.88 in March. It got a lift from a University of Michigan survey showing expectations that jobs are available.
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Unlike activity, momentum in the job market rebounded quickly after the financial crisis and has been in positive ground since 2010.
Other factors in labor market momentum include initial claims for unemployment benefits, average hourly earnings and the share of the population that participates in the labor force.
To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @mdkcstar