US economy added 223,000 jobs in April, unemployment rate at seven-year low

The US economy added 223,000 non-farm payroll jobs during April and the country’s unemployment rate dropped to a near seven-year low of 5.4 percent. A country’s unemployment rate is the percentage of the total workforce that is jobless and seeking work.

According to a Department of Labor report on Friday, the hourly wage in the private sector increased 3 cents in April, or 0.1 percent, compared to a 0.2 percent gain in March.

Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.2 percent.

The Labor Department said that non-farm payrolls gained 223,000, with the construction and services sector offsetting weakness in mining.



 

Professional and business services added 62,000 jobs in April. Health care employment increased by 45,000. Employment in construction rose by 45,000. The transportation and warehousing sector added 15,000 jobs, While employment in mining fell by 15,000.

Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Advantage Funds in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, told Bloomberg:

“It’s not a bad report for the economy, but it’s not so good it raises concerns about the Fed taking the punch bowl away,”

March payrolls were revised down from 126,000 to only 85,000 jobs created – the fewest since June 2012.

According to Reuters, Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco, said:

“With the unemployment rate approaching full-employment levels it will only be a matter of time before wages start to rise at a somewhat swifter pace.”

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