Unemployment Declines to Lowest Level in 10 Years

By Toni Vranjes

May 5, 2017

The job-market news was stellar in April. Not only did the jobless rate drop to 4.4 percent – the lowest it’s been in a decade – but payroll growth was also strong, at 211,000.

The job growth marks “a sharp rebound from the tepid pace of March,” wrote economist Diane Swonk of DS Economics in a blog post. In March,¬†employers added only 79,000 new jobs., according to revised numbers released by the Labor Department.

For April, the leisure and hospitality sector performed exceptionally well, with 55,000 new jobs. Gains also occurred in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, financial activities, and mining.

Meanwhile, wages increased by 7 cents, and the labor force increased by 12,000 in April. The labor-force participation rate fell, though, from 63 percent to 62.9 percent.

Overall, “April was a good month for employment and affirms our view that the momentum that took root in the second half of 2016 is carrying into 2017,” Swonk wrote.

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