April Jobs Report: 211000 Jobs Added, Unemployment At 4.4 Percent

1,900 jobs were created last month, 1,100 people joined the workforce while the number of people claiming unemployment dipped by 800.

The bulk of the job gains in April came from leisure and hospitality, education and health, and business services but even beleaguered sectors such as mining and manufacturing showed growth.

A burst of hiring in April provided a reassuring sign for the USA economy, reducing unemployment and bringing a broader gauge of the job market's health to its lowest level since the recession began almost a decade ago.

Some analysts had raised concerns about a possible slowdown after a disappointing March job report and first-quarter GDP estimates that showed growth slowing to a glacial 0.7 percent.

Perhaps most encouragingly, wage growth is also accelerating.

The official unemployment rate has hovered under 5 percent for a year. The country has had positive job gains for six straight months, and over the past nine months has added 277,000 jobs. That's why wage growth is expected to pick up.

The central bank in March raised interest rates for the second time in three months, shifting to a faster pace of rate hikes under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump as the job market is strengthening and inflation is rising toward its target of 2 percent. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 174,000. Nearly all economists do not think this figure represents unemployment in the labor force accurately. This is in line with the industry's average monthly job growth during the first quarter of this year but is below the average gain of 32,000 per month for 2016.

The U-6 unemployment rate, a broader measure that includes people who are working part-time for economic reasons, fell to 8.6%, the lowest since November 2007.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans ticked down to 4.02 percent from 4.03 percent last week.

The employment-to-population ratio rose one-tenth of percentage point to a fresh eight-year high of 60.2 per cent. Together with steady hiring, that underscores a tighter job market.

If the evidence continues to support that view, then we can expect the Fed to raise interest rates again at meeting next month.

An economist said that the hiring freeze by federal agencies from the latter part of January to the middle of April helped to curtain staff additions in the government in April by up to 10,000.