US gains 288,000 jobs, plunging unemployment to lowest rate since 2008

(AP) -- The U.S. unemployment rate plunged in April to its lowest level since September 2008 as employers added 288,000 jobs, the most in two years. The figures are a clear sign that the economy is

News 12 Staff

May 2, 2014, 8:14 PM

Updated 3,669 days ago

Share:

US gains 288,000 jobs, plunging unemployment to lowest rate since 2008
(AP) -- The U.S. unemployment rate plunged in April to its lowest level since September 2008 as employers added 288,000 jobs, the most in two years.
The figures are a clear sign that the economy is picking up after a brutal winter slowed growth.
The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent from 6.7 percent in March. But the drop occurred because the number of people working or seeking work fell sharply. People aren't counted as unemployed if they're not looking for a job.
Employers also added more jobs in February and March than previously estimated. The job totals for those two months were revised up by a combined 36,000.
Job creation is accelerating: Employers added an average of 238,000 jobs the past three months. That's up from 167,000 in the previous three.
Hiring last month was broad-based and included higher-paying jobs: Manufacturing gained 12,000 positions. Construction added 32,000. Professional and technical services, which include accounting and engineering positions, gained 25,100 jobs.
The jump in hiring comes after a spate of other data showed that the economy is improving. Consumers are ramping up spending, businesses are ordering more goods and manufacturers are expanding. The strengthening numbers show that harsh snowstorms and frigid cold in January and February were largely to blame for the economy's scant growth at the start of the year.
The economy barely expanded from January through March, eking out an annual growth rate of just 0.1 percent, down from a 2.6 percent rate in the final three months of 2013. Americans spent more last quarter on utilities and health care, but their spending on goods barely rose. Businesses also reduced spending, and exports fell.
Still, other data indicate that the economy was already rebounding in March and probably improved further in April. Consumers bought more cars and spent more at shopping malls. Overall consumer spending soared in March by the most in 4½ years.
Spending is up partly because Americans earned a bit more, and confidence has improved from the bleak winter months. Incomes rose 0.5 percent in March, the government said, the most since August.
And a private survey showed that manufacturing activity accelerated in April for a third straight month.
Businesses are also investing more in machinery and equipment after cutting back in those areas in January and December. Business orders for manufactured goods jumped in March, the government said last week.
All told, the positive news has led most economists to forecast a strong rebound in economic growth -- to a 3.5 percent annual rate in the current April-June quarter. And growth should reach nearly 3 percent for the full year, up from 1.9 percent in 2013, they expect.
___
Follow Chris Rugaber at http://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber


More from News 12
0:27
Officials warn against using gasoline to ignite indoor fires following incident at Croton-on-Hudson residence

Officials warn against using gasoline to ignite indoor fires following incident at Croton-on-Hudson residence

2:03
Mostly cloudy skies and dry conditions in the Hudson Valley

Mostly cloudy skies and dry conditions in the Hudson Valley

0:32
Hudson Valley veterans honored with flight to visit Washington DC

Hudson Valley veterans honored with flight to visit Washington DC

2:23
Candlelight vigil held in Mohegan Lake for missing Westchester teenage girls

Candlelight vigil held in Mohegan Lake for missing Westchester teenage girls

0:24
Police: 1 dead following multi-vehicle crash on Sprain Brook Parkway near Elmsford

Police: 1 dead following multi-vehicle crash on Sprain Brook Parkway near Elmsford

1:39
New Rochelle's Haitian community commemorates Haitian Flag Day

New Rochelle's Haitian community commemorates Haitian Flag Day

1:21
Ardsley hosts inaugural Asian American Pacific Islander Festival

Ardsley hosts inaugural Asian American Pacific Islander Festival

0:17
Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody

Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody

0:49
Dozens protest proposed lithium-ion battery storage facility in Mahopac

Dozens protest proposed lithium-ion battery storage facility in Mahopac

1:43
CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox

CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox

0:34
Police: 3 suspects arrested following pursuit in Armonk

Police: 3 suspects arrested following pursuit in Armonk

0:25
Goshen man pleads guilty to predatory sexual assault of child

Goshen man pleads guilty to predatory sexual assault of child

1:53
Hudson Valley unites to help Ukraine, continues local efforts to help war-torn country

Hudson Valley unites to help Ukraine, continues local efforts to help war-torn country

0:20
Police: Spikes deployed by officers to stop car during pursuit in Town of Bedford

Police: Spikes deployed by officers to stop car during pursuit in Town of Bedford

0:30
Yorktown Grange Fair to celebrate its 100th anniversary this September

Yorktown Grange Fair to celebrate its 100th anniversary this September

1:48
City of Mount Vernon celebrates and reflects 70 years since landmark Brown v. Board of Ed decision

City of Mount Vernon celebrates and reflects 70 years since landmark Brown v. Board of Ed decision

0:27
Man arrested for hate crime at Kingston synagogue

Man arrested for hate crime at Kingston synagogue

0:31
Westchester County DA: Peekskill man pleads guilty to gunning down man in front of his children

Westchester County DA: Peekskill man pleads guilty to gunning down man in front of his children

0:47
Two Middletown state troopers honored for heroism

Two Middletown state troopers honored for heroism

1:44
Caught on camera: Person seen taking down Israeli flag from Rockland County business

Caught on camera: Person seen taking down Israeli flag from Rockland County business