U.S. Creates 160,000 Jobs In April; Unemployment 5%

The U.S. created 160,000 new jobs in April, marking the smallest gain in seven months, in a sign that a slower economy may have crimped job creation. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected an increase of 203,000 nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5%, as more people dropped out of the labor force, the government said Friday. In a bit of good news, average wages climbed 0.3% to $25.53 an hour. Hourly pay rose 2.5% in the past 12 months, up from 2.3%. The labor-force participation fell for the first time since last fall to 62.8%. Employment gains for March and February, meanwhile, were reduced by a combined 19,000. The government said 208,000 new jobs were created in March instead of 215,000. February's gain was trimmed to 233,000 from 245,000.

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