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165,000 Jobs Added In April, Jobless Rate Fell To 7.5 Percent

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
May 3, 2013

The nation’s jobless rate edged down to 7.5 percent in April from 7.6 percent in March and employers added 165,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

The news was better than economists were expecting. Before the report’s release, economists thought BLS would say that 140,000 to 150,000 jobs were added to payrolls last month and that the jobless rate remained unchanged.

We’ll have more from the report and reactions to it as the morning continues.

Update at 8:55 a.m. ET. Pace Has Picked Up:

“The economy has created an average of 208,000 jobs a month from November through April,” The Associated Press notes, which is more than the 138,000 average in previous six months.

Update at 8:50 a.m. ET. Jobless Rate’s Recent Highs And Lows:

At 7.5 percent, the unemployment rate remains at the lowest level it’s been since December 2007′s 7.3 percent. That was the month the economy sank into its latest recession (which technically ended in the early summer of 2009).

The jobless rate’s recent peak was 10 percent, in October 2009. Unemployment rates often continue to rise even after the economy starts to heal because employers remain wary of adding on workers. One defining feature of the economy’s post-2009 recovery has been the continued reluctance of employers to add on large numbers of employees. That’s why the jobless rate has come down less, and more slowly, than after some other recessions.

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. February And March Job Growth Estimates Revised Upward:

The bureau now says there were an estimated 332,000 jobs added to payrolls in February and 138,000 added in March. Both figures are substantial increases from the bureau’s previous estimates — of 268,000 jobs added in February and just 88,000 in March.

Related post from Planet Money: Millions Of Americans Are Leaving The Workforce. Why? [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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