U.S. job growth rebounds

The pace of job growth has rebounded in the United States with an estimated addition of more than 200,000 positions to payrolls in April.

The unemployment rate edged down a tenth of a point to 4.4 percent, the lowest level since May 2007.

According to the latest statistical snapshot from the Department of Labor, nonfarm payrolls increased 211,000.

That increase followed a gain of only 79,000 jobs in March, a number that was revised downward 19,000. The initial estimate for the payroll gain in February was revised upward 13,000 to 232,000, but not enough to offset the downward revision for March.

Given the latest numbers, payrolls have increased on average 174,000 a month over the past three months.

For April, the number of people counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work was little changed at 7.1 million. Of those, 1.6 million have been out of work 27 weeks or longer.

Another 5.3 million people were counted among those working part-time because their hours had been cut or they were unable to find full-time positions.

Meanwhile, jobs gains were spread out among a number of industry sectors.

The leisure and hospitality sector added 55,000 jobs, while business and professional services increased payrolls 39,000 and employment in health care and social assistance rose 37,000. Financial activities added 19,000 positions, while mining payrolls rose 9,000.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls edged up a tenth of an hour to 34.4 hours in April. The average manufacturing workweek rose a tenth of an hour to 40.7 hours.

Average hourly earnings for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls rose 7 cents to $26.19. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have increased  65 cents, or 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, an index tracking labor trends continues to rise, signaling job growth in the months ahead.

The Conference Board reported its Employment Trends Index rose more than a point to 132.64 in April. The index has advanced 4.1 percent over the past year.

“A tight labor market is about to get much tighter with solid employment growth occurring at a time when there is almost no growth in the working age population,” said Gad Levanon, chief economist with the Conference Board, a business research and membership group.