Job growth in the U.S. far exceeded economist estimates in the month of April, the Labor Department revealed in a report on Friday, although the jump in employment followed notable downward revision to the two previous months.
The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment shot up by 253,000 jobs in April compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 179,000 jobs.
However, the job growth in February and March was downwardly revised to 248,000 jobs and 165,000 jobs, respectively, reflecting a combined downward revision of 149,000 jobs.
The surge in employment in April reflected continued job growth in the professional and business services, healthcare, leisure and hospitality and social assistance sectors.
The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate edged down to 3.4 percent in April from 3.5 percent in March. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.
The unexpected dip in the unemployment rate came as the household survey measure of employment rose by 139,000 persons, while the labor force shrank by 43,000 persons.
The report also showed average hourly employee earnings increased by $0.16 or 0.5 percent to $33.36. Annual wage growth accelerated to 4.4 percent in April from 4.3 percent in March.
“While a substantial downward revision to payrolls tempered the jobs gain, the combination of strong job growth in April plus the unemployment rate falling when it was expected to rise, plus average hourly earnings jumping 0.5% is not what one wants to see in the same week the Fed decides to pause raising interest rates,” said FHN Financial Chief Economist Chris Low.
“The Fed has other things to consider now, including short-sellers’ war on regional banks and the credit tightening resulting from banking turmoil,” he added. “Nevertheless, job one is still to reduce inflation, which means the Fed is still committed to boosting the unemployment rate.”
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