WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP): Hiring jumped in April as U.S. employers added 263,000 jobs, a strong gain that suggests businesses have shrugged off any concerns the economy may slow this year.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate fell to a new five-decade low of 3.6%, though that drop partly reflected an increase in the number of Americans who stopped looking for work.
Average hourly pay rose 3.2% from the previous year, a healthy gain though unchanged from the previous month.
April’s figures show that solid economic growth is still encouraging robust hiring, nearly a decade into the economy’s recovery from the Great Recession. The expansion is set to become the longest in history in July.
Businesses say they are struggling to find workers, but have taken a range of steps to fill jobs, including training more entry-level workers, loosening educational requirements and raising pay.