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US unemployment rate falls to four-year low at 7.5%

Last Updated: Friday, May 3, 2013 - 22:11

Washington: The US unemployment rate has dropped to a four-year low of 7.5 percent, as the economy added 165,000 jobs in April, latest official figures released Friday said.

Releasing its employment figures for April, the Department of Labour's Bureau of Labour Statistics said employers added 138,000 jobs in March and 332,000 in February.

"Non-farm payroll employment rose by 165,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.5 percent. Over the prior 12 months, job gains averaged 169,000 per month. In April, employment grew in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care," said Erica L Groshen, Commissioner, Bureau of Labour Statistics.

According to the report the unemployment rate, at 7.5 percent, changed little in April but has declined by 0.4 percentage point since January.

The number of unemployed persons, at 11.7 million, was also little changed over the month; however, unemployment has decreased by 673,000 since January, it said.

Alan B Krueger, Chairman of the US President's Council of Economic Advisers, said while more work remains to be done, the latest employment report provides further evidence that the US economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

"It is critical that we remain focused on pursuing policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class, as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007," he said.

"Now is not the time for Washington to impose self-inflicted wounds on the economy. The Administration continues to urge Congress to replace the sequester with balanced deficit reduction, while working to put in place measures to create middle-class jobs, such as by rebuilding our roads and bridges and promoting American manufacturing," Krueger said.

"The President will continue to press Congress to act on the measures he called for in his State of the Union address to make America a magnet for good jobs, help workers earn the skills they need to do those jobs, and make sure their hard work leads to a decent living," he added.

Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid said the latest report shows that the way to create jobs is to combine targeted investments with smart spending cuts and policies that ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share and not the opposition Republicans' austerity agenda.

"Friday's report is no exception. Our job growth would be even stronger if our economy were not hampered by the austerity Republicans have insisted upon for the past two years, instead of working with Democrats to forge a balanced approach to deficit reduction," he said.


First Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 - 22:09
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