U.S. Job Growth Shatters Expectations

The U.S. jobs machine kept humming along in April, adding a robust 263,000 new hires while the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, the lowest in a generation.

Figures released by the U.S. Labor Department Friday showed non-farm payroll growth easily beat Wall Street expectations of 190,000 and a 3.8% jobless rate.

Unemployment south of the border was last this low in December 1969 when it hit 3.5%. At a time when many economists see a tight labour market, big job growth continues as the economic expansion is just a few months away from being the longest in history.

While last month’s slump in the jobless rate came with strong increase in hiring, it also was helped along by a sharp decline in the labour force of 490,000. That brought the labor force participation rate down to 62.8%, exactly where it was a year ago.