Unemployment Plunges To 6.3% In April As Economy Adds 288,000 Payroll Jobs

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by: Ed Dolan

The BLS monthly household survey, released today, showed that the unemployment rate plunged 0.4 percentage points in April to 6.3 percent, a new low for the recovery. The broad U-6 unemployment rate, which takes into account discouraged workers and involuntary part-time workers, fell to 12.3 percent, also a new low for the recovery.

In another welcome development, the percentage of unemployed who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more also fell to a new low for the recovery. Elevated long-term unemployment has been one of the most painful features of the Great Recession. Almost five ears into the recovery, it still remains far above historical levels.

A separate survey of establishments showed a gain of 288,000 jobs. February and March payroll gains were revised upward by a total of 36,000. Those revisions make this the first time in more than two years that the economy has gained more than 200,000 jobs for three consecutive months. The gains were broadly based, with goods producing industries, services, and governments all showing an increase in jobs.

Follow this link for a classroom-ready slideshow with charts and commentary on the latest employment situation