Employers Added a Modest 164,000 Jobs in April

(CN) — Employers added a modest 164,000 jobs in April, pushing the nation’s unemployment rate down to 3.9 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

The numbers were an improvement from March, when only 135,000 jobs were added, and according to the government, the gains came in a wide variety of business sectors, including professional and business services, manufacturing, health care, and mining.

The  unemployment rate fell after having held at 4.1 percent for the prior six months largely because fewer people were searching for jobs.

Overall, the unemployment rate remains at its lowest point since December 2000.

The unemployment for women dropped to 3.5 percent in April, while the jobless rates for men, teens, whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics remained unchanged.

In a sign that employers are having a difficult time finding qualified workers, average hourly earnings rose 2.6 percent from a year ago.

Manufacturers added 24,000 workers in April. Restaurants and hotels hired 18,000 new employees. The health care and social assistance sector added 29,300 jobs and the construction industry 17,000.

The four-week moving average for people applying for first-time unemployment benefits has reached its lowest level since 1973.

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