Jobs report crushes expectations, unemployment drops to 49-year low

The Bureau of Labour Statistics added 263,000 nonfarm payrolls for the month of April, surpassing the 190,000 that economists expected. The unemployment rate came in at 3.6%, the lowest level since December, 1969.

The unemployment rate ticked down from 3.8% the month prior.

That could push wage growth higher as companies compete for workers. Average hourly earnings are seen rising 0.3% after slowing in March, though increases have been softer than what economists would expect with the current unemployment rate.

Strong results would offer further evidence that a weaker period of hiring earlier this year was just monthly noise and not the start of a downward trend.Hiring rebounded in March, with the US adding 196,000 jobs, after slowing to a near standstill in the previous month.

In March, the US shed 6,000 manufacturing jobs after nearly two years of steady gains. That was just the latest sign of a slowdown in manufacturing activity, which accounts for about a tenth of output in the US economy.

On average, nonfarm payrolls increased by a solid 180,000 per month in the first quarter.

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