Despite significant downward revisions in the preceding months, the US economy unexpectedly created jobs at a faster rate in April, indicating resilience in the labor market even as the Federal Reserve has signaled a possible pause on recent interest rate hikes. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that non-farm payrolls rose by 253,000 last month, exceeding economist projections of 180,000.
The employment figures for the previous two months were heavily revised. The U.S. added 165,000 jobs in March, as opposed to the original reading of 236,000. Meanwhile, the figure for February was adjusted to 248,000 from 326,000. The revisions lowered the combined total by 149,000 from the prior figures.
The unemployment rate also surprised expectations by dropping to 3.4% in April, down from 3.5% in March. Economists had anticipated a rise to 3.6%. Additionally, the month-on-month rate of growth in average hourly earnings increased to 0.5%, as opposed to holding steady at 0.3%, as initially predicted.
“Despite all the economic slings and arrows, businesses continue to add strongly to their payrolls,” tweeted Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Underlying monthly job growth is close to [225,000], still a bit too strong to fully quell inflation, but moving in the right direction.”
The Fed’s aim is to cool strong labor demand and wage increases as part of its ongoing