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U.S. Adds 211,000 jobs in April; Unemployment Dips to 4.4 Percent

Employment rates in April rebounded better than expected, as employers added a solid 211,000 jobs. Unemployment dipped to 4.4 percent, its lowest rate in a decade, the Labor Department said Friday.

The market added an average of 185,000 jobs a month this year, matching last year’s pace, reports CBS. Hiring was strongest in lower-paying industries  and hotels, restaurants, casinos and amusement parks added 55,000 jobs, the most of any major sector, CBS reported. Health care added 37,000 jobs in April and the banking industry added 19,000. Construction added only 5,000 jobs while factories hired 6,000. Retail, which continues to perform poorly and has experienced industry-wide store closings, added just 6,000 jobs, far below their usual average.

Although spending increased at its slowest pace in seven years during the first quarter, analysts say businesses expect consumer demand will rebound after a disappointing quarter.

Unfortunately for employees, average paychecks grew more slowly in April, increasing only 2.5 percent over the past 12 months. CBS reports that in a strong economy, hourly pay gains tend to average around 3.5 percent. Still, analysts report overall the market is in “solid shape.” Some economists are even forecasting a 3 percent economic growth rate, far above last quarter’s 0.7 percent rates.



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