Nation's 4.4% unemployment rate is lowest since 2007

The unemployment rate for all Americans declined from 4.5 percent in March to 4.4 percent in April.

The U.S. labor market is still expanding at a steady clip even after 79 straight months of job gains, helping to heal much of the damage lingering from the recession.

The job gains were broad-based, with hefty increases in leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance as well as business and professional services.

The U.S. legal industry gained 1,100 jobs in April amid a positive employment for the country's economy overall, according to preliminary federal government data released Friday.

Fed policymakers held its key interest rate steady this week but signaled that they remained on pace for two more small hikes this year, a vote of confidence for stronger economic growth. Over the first three full months of Trump's presidency, the economy has averaged 174,000 jobs added per month.

On the other hand, the US economy would need between 75,000 and 100,000 new jobs per month to keep up with the growth in the working-age population. Water transportation employment was flat in April.

The jobs report for April marks an upswing after three consecutive months in which the number of people employed in legal services declined. The unemployment rate has not been this low since May of 2007, almost a decade ago. The increase in US transportation sector hiring follows revised gains of 6,600 jobs in March and 7,600 positions in February and a 10,200-job loss in January.

"The labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, changed little in April and has shown little movement over the past year", the Labor Department agency says. The release indicated that about 276,000 jobs were added in 12-month period.

The new figures represent a continuing trend of steady economic growth stretching back to early in President Obama's term, though wage growth continues to lag behind. The government will report on job creation and the unemployment rate for April on Friday. For historical perspective, wage gains have averaged 2.7 per cent over the past decade.

  • Zachary Reyes