The U.S. Labor Department announced on Friday that nonfarm payrolls climbed
by 253,000 in April after a downwardly revised 165,000 advance (from 236,000)
in March. That was the first rise in three months.
According to the report, the largest
job advances were witnessed in professional and business services (+43,000),
health care, leisure and hospitality (+31,000), and social assistance (+25,000).
The unemployment rate dropped to 3.4 percent in April from an unrevised
3.5 percent in the prior
month. That represented the lowest rate since January (3.4 percent).
Economists had predicted the nonfarm payrolls to rise by 180,000 and the
jobless rate to rise to 3.6 percent.
The labor force participation rate was unchanged m-o-m at 62.6 percent
in April, while
hourly earnings for private-sector workers increased 0.5 percent m-o-m (or
$0.16) to 33.36, following
an unrevised 0.3 percent m-o-m gain in March. That marked the strongest
monthly advance since July 2022 (+0.5 percent m-o-m). Economists had forecast
the average hourly earnings to increase 0.3 percent m-o-m in April. Over the
year, the average hourly earnings jumped 4.4 percent in April, following an upwardly revised 4.3 percent
climb (from +4.2 percent) in the previous month.
The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.4 hours last month, in line with economists' expectations.