Just when everyone thought the American job market was set to cool, it started the second quarter strong as unemployment dropped to around 3.4% last month after the addition of 253,000 new opportunities.

However, this does not mean that all industries have been on a hiring spree. According to a number of staffing agencies, the bulk of positions added to the job market came from several sectors. These include professional and business services including accountancy, engineering, and legal services; healthcare, leisure, and hospitality which are enjoying a revival after two years of the pandemic, the food and beverage sector, as well as specialized construction.

In all, these sectors hired approximately 165,000 new employees last month, covering around 65% of all positions added. 

Professional services, in particular, posted the largest gain as the sector added a total of 43,000 jobs to the total. Average earnings per hour in the sector also went up by around $0.24 to $40.20 – 20% higher than what most private-sector employees earned in the previous month.

And Now for the Bad News…

Despite these sizable gains, a number of sectors also posted substantial layoffs in April.

Among the sectors reporting the largest job cuts are the staffing sector – a broad spectrum that includes recruitment, career coaching, and human resource management – which posted a total of 24,000 layoffs. 

Experts attribute these to the way companies have been asking their recruitment agencies to do more with less following two years of massive spending to fill vacancies.

Transportation services also posted 8,000 layoffs for the same timeframe, while conventional construction laid off around 3,600 workers.