Labor Department: US
Jobless Rate Dips to 8.1% - 115K Jobs Added
May 4, 2012
The U.S. jobless rate edged lower in April, but the government said
Friday that job growth in the world's largest economy was modest.
The Labor Department said the unemployment rate fell a tenth of a
percentage point from March to 8.1 percent last month. But for the
second straight month, more workers left the labor market and thus were
not counted in the U.S. employment survey.
At the same time, employers added another 115,000 workers to their
payrolls last month, but that was well below the 160,000 figure that
economists had predicted. The April figure also fell below the 120,000
jobs added in March and signaled that corporations have markedly slowed
their hiring. The American economy had added nearly 250,000 jobs a month
early in the year.
Wall Street analysts were looking for
a gain of 168,000 in payrolls and for the jobless rate to remain at
The U.S. has recovered only slowly from its deep recession in 2008 and
2009, its worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
state of the U.S. economy has emerged as the dominant issue in the
country's presidential election campaign, heading to the vote in
U.S. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, is running for another
four-year term. While he remains personally popular, many voters have
questioned his oversight of the nation's economy. Earlier in the year,
he touted the labor market's robust job growth. But now job growth has
tailed off sharply.
His presumptive Republican challenger, one-time venture capitalist Mitt
Romney, has attacked Mr. Obama's White House tenure as a failed
presidency, especially his handling of the economy. Romney has called
for less government regulation of corporations and lower taxes to boost