The pace of hiring slowed in April, while the unemployment rate dipped slightly.
The Labor Department announced this morning that businesses added 115,000 nonfarm employees last month. Economists had forecast about 170,000 jobs for April, CNBC said.
Still, the nation’s unemployment rate slipped a tenth of a percent, down to 8.1% from 8.2% in the prior month.
The government also revised the number of jobs created in March up to 154,000, compared to the previously announced 120,000.
Economists cited by the AP predicted that the unemployment rate would fall below 8% by the fall, but wouldn’t dip below 6% until 2015.
The professional and business services, retail trade and health care sectors recorded job growth during the month, while transportation and warehousing saw declines.
Average hourly earnings for nonfarm employees rose 1 cent during the month to $23.38.
The percentage of people working, or looking for work, slipped in April to 63.6% from 63.8%, while the employment-population ratio stayed flat at 58.4%, the government said.
12.5 million people remain unemployed; 41.3% of the unemployed have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer.