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Economy adds 288,000 jobs in April; unemployment rate plummets to 6.3 percent

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(Photo: MGN Online)

WASHINGTON — The jobs recovery is still chugging along, although at this pace it will still take years to get back to a pre-recession labor market.

The U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in April, the Department of Labor said Friday.

While that’s an encouraging sign the economy is continuing to improve, the unemployment rate told a different story.

That number, which comes from a survey of households, shows fewer Americans are joining the labor force and fewer people report they’re employed. These trends led to the unemployment rate falling to 6.3 percent, its lowest level since September 2008.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Erica Groshen noted the data suggest the decline in the labor force was primarily “due mostly to fewer people entering the labor force than usual, rather than to more people exiting the labor force.”

Given the millions of jobs lost in the financial crisis, even modest hiring is still not enough to put the huge backlog of unemployed Americans back to work. Long-term unemployment remains elevated with 3.5 million people out of a job for six months or more.

Economists estimate it could take at least another two years until the job market returns to its pre-recession health, when the unemployment rate was around 4 percent to 5 percent.

One of the strongest sectors for job growth is professional and business services. The industry added 75,000 jobs in April. Over the past year, this industry alone has added more than 660,000 jobs.

That’s good news, especially because many of these are likely to be office jobs paying mid to higher level wages.Retail, restaurants and bars — traditional low-wage industries — have also accounted for strong job growth.

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1 Comment

  • coloradocommish

    Ahhh… CNN and the Democrats having fun with numbers again…. shaving off large numbers of people who cannot find work, and who have languished on unemployment for YEARS… These people do not count on the “Official” unemployment rate, and Democrats celebrate it.
    What is the actual percentage of working-age Americans, eligible to participate in the civilian labor force, but NOT currently working…. 36.3% The worst ‘labor-participation rate’ in three decades. ( Even AFTER the $1.3 Trillion “Stimulus”, Cash for Clunkers, Summer of Recovery in 2010)….THIS is the number we should actually be looking at. Real vs. Imaginary.

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