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Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 428,000 in April, relatively unchanged from the 431,000 jobs added in March, according to the latest jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate was unchanged from March at 3.6%.

“There are a lot of mixed messages in the economy today, but one message that is crystal clear is that the labor market remains healthy,” says Zonda chief economist Ali Wolf. “The economy added 428,000 jobs in April, with many of those gained in the leisure and hospitality sector.”

Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae, says job gains in the prior two months were revised downward by a total of 39,000, the first such downward revision since June 2021. Total nonfarm payrolls remain 1.2 million from pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.

The number of unemployed individuals was relatively unchanged from March at 5.9 million. Both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed individuals remain similar to their February 2020 levels (3.5% and 5.7 million, respectively).

“Employers are still finding it difficult to find the right people to hire,” Wolf says. “As a result, employees remain in the driver’s seat of today’s economy with rising wages and increased job prospects.”

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