Unemployment drops to 7.5 percent

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The economy added 165,000 jobs in April and the nation’s unemployment rate dipped to 7.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The government said employment increased in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade and health care.

The Washington Post reported that hiring in February and March was stronger than the government initially estimated.

The government revised upward its estimate of job gains in February and March by a combined 114,000 and now says employers added 332,000 jobs in February and 138,000 in March. The economy has created an average of 208,000 jobs a month from November through April.

“This is a good report,” Wells Fargo chief economist John Silvia told the Washington Post. “There’s a lot of strength. ... It’s good for the economy. It’s good for people’s income.”

The stronger job growth suggests that federal budget cutting “does not mean recession,” Silvia said. “It does not mean a dramatic slowdown.”

A total of 11.7 million people were jobless in April. Since January, the number has fallen by 673,000.

The number of people who have been unemployed for more than six months dropped by 258,000 to 4.4 million. During the last year, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 687,000.

Click here for the full Washington Post report.

Click here for the full release.

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