The job market sputtered, adding the fewest number of workers in seven months. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.0 percent. Fred Katayama reports.
The U.S. job market slowed significantly in April. The economy added 160,000 jobs - much fewer than expected. And the previously two months' gains were revised downward. The unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent as many more Americans dropped out of the labor force. Gaining the most jobs: the professional business services, healthcare, and financial sectors. Mining continued to shed workers. Retail, which had performed strongly in the first quarter, also lost jobs. One bright spot: average wages grew a third of a percent last month. But that still doesn't raise it enough to boost inflation to the range the Federal Reserve would like to see. Chase senior economist Jim Glassman says a Fed rate hike in June is not off the table. SOUNDBITE: JAMES GLASSMAN, SENIOR ECONOMIST, CHASE (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "When you put this report together with the trend we've been watching in jobless claims, which is a much more comprehensive and more timely information, it's telling you that the job market is doing pretty well even if this month's report is a little disappointing." The job market had been defying the slowdown in the economy this year, but April's employment growth was the smallest in 7 months.