Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. economy created 288,000 jobs in April as the labor market rebounds following severe winter weather. The increase is the biggest in over two years.
The unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent from 6.7 percent, marking the lowest level since September 2008, according to the Labor Department report released Friday.
Economists projected a gain of 210,000 jobs in April.
Businesses generated 273,000 new slots, while the government in the federal, state and local levels hired 15,000 workers. Job gains for February and March were upwardly revised by a total 36,000. The figure in February was revised up to 222,000 from 197,000 and March to 203,000 from the previous estimate of 192,000.
Employers hired almost 200,000 workers in both February and March despite the effects of the winter, leading many economists to forecast ever larger gains in April. Some analysts predicted a healthy rebound effect after the government released a report this week showing that the country’s gross domestic product rose by just 0.1 percent in the first quarter.
Other economic indicators also have bounced back recently, such as consumer confidence, retail sales and manufacturing output. Many economists predict the economy and labor market will likely grow in 2014 as a result of an increase in household wealth and lower debt, as well as more modest budget cuts by the federal government.