Employment picked up more than forecast in April and the jobless rate unexpectedly declined to a four-year low of 7.5 percent, showing federal budget cuts failed to destabilize the U.S. labor market.
Payrolls expanded by 165,000 workers last month following a revised 138,000 increase in March that was larger than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 90 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 140,000 gain. Revisions added a total of 114,000 jobs to the employment count in February and March.
Hiring advanced last month even as employers witnessed the onset of planned government spending reductions, which the Federal Reserve said are hindering the economy. The expansion is projected to cool this quarter before picking up again as the cuts continue, consumer spending eases and companies pull back.