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US payrolls surge in April, jobless rate hits lowest level since 2008

Published on May 2, 2014 8:55 PM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US job growth increased at its fastest pace in more than two years in April and the unemployment rate dived to a five and a half year low of 6.3 per cent, suggesting a sharp rebound in economic activity early in the second quarter.

Non-farm payrolls surged 288,000 last month, the Labour Department said on Friday. That was the largest gain since January 2012 and beat Wall Street’s expectations for only a 210,000 increase.

The unemployment rate tumbled 0.4 percentage point, touching its lowest level since September 2008. The Labour Department attributed the decline to a drop in the number of unemployed people re-entering the labour market as well as a fall in new entrants into the labour force.

The economy stalled in the first quarter, weighed down by an unusually cold and disruptive winter. A slow pace of stock accumulation by businesses, while they work through a glut of goods amassed in the second half of 2013, also undercut growth.

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