Latest labor statistics: Hiring on the increase

U.S. payrolls grew in April and estimated gains for the previous two months were revised sharply upward as the latest statistics reflect increased hiring.

The Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls rose 165,000 in April with gains spread across several industry sectors.

Moreover, initial estimates for payroll gains in March and February were revised upward a total of 114,000. What was thought to be a lackluster gain of 88,000 jobs in March was revised to 138,000. The revised gain of 332,000 for February was the strongest since the U.S. Census Bureau hired temporary workers in 2010.

Given the new numbers, nonfarm payrolls have increased an average of 169,000 a month over the past year.

The unemployment rate edged down a tenth of a point in April to 7.5 percent, the lowest level in four years.

Professional and business services added a net 73,000 jobs in April, while employment in the leisure and hospitality sector rose 38,000. Retail trade payrolls grew 29,000 even as health care employment continued to trend upward with 19,000 new jobs.

Construction firms cut 6,000 jobs, while payrolls remained unchanged in most other sectors.

Even as the ranks of those counted among the unemployed has decreased 673,000 since January, 11.7 million people remain out of work. The number of people working part-time for economic reasons increased in April to 7.9 million.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls slipped two-tenths of an hour to 34.4 hours in April. The manufacturing workweek edged down a tenth of an hour to 40.7 hours.

Average hourly earnings for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls rose 4 cents in April to $23.87. Over the past year, hourly earnings have increased 45 cents, or 1.9 percent.