Employers Boost Hiring in April

By Toni Vranjes

May 3, 2013

The unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent last month, as employers hired more people than expected.

In April, the economy gained 165,000 jobs, beating economists’ predictions of 140,000 new positions. Employment growth is also up from March, when employers created 138,000 new jobs, according to the government’s revised numbers.

Another good sign: the revised figures show 114,000 more jobs for February and March combined than previously estimated.

Hiring was particularly strong in professional and business services, which expanded by 73,000. Employment growth also occurred in food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care.

The unemployment rate, which was 7.6 percent in March, is now at the lowest level since December 2008. The labor force expanded by 210,000 in April, and the labor-force participation rate remained at 63.3 percent.

Last month, the private sector had a strong performance, with 176,000 new jobs. Over the past 38 months, the employment gains in the private sector have totaled 6.8 million, noted Alan Krueger, President Obama’s chief economist.

“While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” he wrote on the White House blog. “It is critical that we remain focused on pursuing policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class, as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”

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