There was a dramatic surge in US job growth in April, as hiring increased at its quickest pace in more than two years, suggesting a sharp rebound in economic activity.
The gains were broad based, including government payrolls which rose by 15,000, manufacturing employment increased 12,000 and the building trade took on 32,000 workers.
Employers added a total of 288,000 jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate down from 6.7 to 6.3 percent of the workforce. The rate was last at this level in September 2008.
The March hiring numbers were also revised up to 203,000 from the previous estimate of 192,000.
The employment report joins other upbeat data – such as consumer spending and industrial production – in suggesting the first quarter’s low growth pace was an aberration.
The Federal Reserve this week further reduced its stimulus measures.
However the fact that persistently high numbers of Americans have been out of work for long periods could keep the US central bank from lifting interest rates for some time to come.
Short term interest rate futures showed traders pricing in a first US rate hike by the Fed in June 2015.
The jobs news was initially welcomed on Wall Street with share prices and the dollar gaining, but the effect didn’t last.
Once investors looked beyond the headline, they started to fret about flat wages and a decline in the number of people looking for work.