U.S. labor market has more room to run as it delivered a strong jobs report in April, especially after rebounding from a dip in March. The economy appears brighter too, as unemployment fell to a fresh 50-year low amid rise in hiring.
A solid labor report sets the stage for investment in sectors that recorded the highest job gains this April.
Strong Recruitment, Record Low Unemployment
According to the Labor department, nonfarm payrolls rose 263,000 in April, which exceeded the consensus estimate of 189,000. This acceleration in new job additions ensured that unemployment hit record lows, declining to 3.6% from 3.8% in the prior month.
The U6 unemployment rate, which comprises those working part-time and those marginally attached to the labor force, remained unchanged at 7.3%. This also represents a decline from the year-ago figure of 7.8%.
Sectors That Added Most Number of Jobs
April’s job additions occurred across a wide range of sectors. Leading the strong hiring were the professional and business services, construction and healthcare sectors.
In April, professional and business services added the highest number of jobs, amounting to 76,000. New job additions took place in administrative and support services (53,000), and in computer systems design and related services (14,000). The professional and business services sector has created 535,000 jobs on an annualized basis.
Construction added the second-highest number of new jobs last month, with total employment increasing 33,000. Notable gains were witnessed in non-residential specialty trade contractors (22,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (10,000). The overall construction sector added 256,000 jobs in a one-year timeframe.
Finally, the booming healthcare sector gained 27,000 new jobs in April. New jobs were added across ambulatory healthcare services (17,000), hospitals (8,000) and community care facilities for the elderly (7,000). Employment in the healthcare sector grew by 404,000 in the past 12 months.
Social assistance added 26,000 jobs in April, making it to the top four sectors with maximum job gains. Moderate hiring took place in financial activities and manufacturing while sectors such as retail, mining and transportation changed little last month.
4 Stocks to Buy
We have selected four best bets from the three top sectors with maximum job gains. Each stock carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Professional and Business Services
Herman Miller, Inc. MLHR is a manufacturer and distributor of office furniture systems, seating products, home furnishings, freestanding furniture elements, textile, and related services.
Herman Miller’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 24.4% compared with the Zacks Business – Office Productsindustry’s projected rise of 13.3%. Its Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has risen 3.6% in the past 60 days. Herman Miller has returned 24% over the past one-year period. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Clean Harbors, Inc. CLH is a provider of environmental, energy and industrial services in North America.
Clean Harbors’ expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 44.4% compared with the Zacks Waste Removal Services industry’s projected rise of 11.9%. Its Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has risen 7.7% in the past 60 days. Clean Harbors has returned 39.2% over the past one-year period.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation GLDD is a provider of dredging services. The company offers capital dredging that comprises port expansion projects, trench digging for pipelines, tunnels and cables, coastal restoration and land reclamations and dredging services related to the construction of canals, marine structures, jetties and breakwaters etc.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100% compared with the Zacks Building Products – Heavy Constructionindustry’s projected rise of 22.1%. Its Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has risen 47.8% in the past 60 days. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has returned more than 100% over the past one-year period.
STAAR Surgical Company STAA manufactures and markets implantable lenses for the eye and delivery systems to implant the lenses into the eye. The company offers Visian implantable collamer lenses (ICLs), Hyperopic ICL, intraocular lenses (IOLs) and nanoFLEX IOL etc.
STAAR Surgical’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 17.9% compared with the Zacks Medical – Dental Suppliesindustry’s projected rise of 6.9%. Its Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has risen 10% in the past 60 days. STAAR Surgical has returned 10.4% over the past one-year period.
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