Jobs Growth Beats Expectations, Unemployment Drops

(Via USAToday.com) The labor market roared ahead in April as milder weather helped employers add 288,000 jobs — the most in more than two years. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3% from 6.7% — the lowest since September 2008, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by Action Economics estimated that 210,000 jobs would be added, but businesses added 273,000 jobs, led by strong gains in professional and business services, retail and restaurants, and construction. Federal, state and local governments added 15,000.

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Scott Brown, chief economist of Raymond James, says many small businesses have been hesitant to add employees, in part because of concerns about the new health coverage mandate. But rising demand is increasingly forcing their hand. “You’re at the point where hiring is really going to start to pick up,” he says.

Some other labor market indicators in Friday’s report were also strong. The number of temporary employees increased by 24,000, possibly heralding further solid gains in permanent workers.

(Continue reading “Spring stunner: Jobs report blows past forecasts” at USAToday.com)

(Illustration: SmallBusiness.com, Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.)