Business, Economics and Jobs

Job growth slows with 115,000 jobs added, unemployment rate at 8.1%


Job seekers line-up to give their resumes to a representative of an employment agency at a job fair at a Holiday Inn on April 18, 2012.


Spencer Platt

The US economy created 115,000 jobs in April, fewer than analysts had expected, according to the Labor Department's report on Friday. However, the unemployment rate dipped slightly, from 8.2 percent to 8.1 percent, said the BBC.

According to the BBC, though employment has been rising for the past eight months, the unemployment rate has hovered above 8 percent since early 2009.

"We had a run of great numbers earlier in the year, and then we get a clear softening in the last couple of months," Ian Shepherdson, the chief US economist at High Frequency Economics, told The New York Times. He said one possible explanation for the slowdown is that warmer weather allowed companies to hire earlier in the year, and another possibility was higher gas prices.

The AFP noted that the drop in unemployment was attributable in large part to people dropping out of the jobs market and giving up. According to the report, participation fell to 63.6 percent, the lowest rate in thirty years, which led the number of unemployed to drop by 200,000 to 12.5 million.

Bloomberg reported that the jobs that were cut in April were mostly in transportation, construction, warehousing and government agencies. The job growth numbers for March were revised upward, from 120,000 to 154,000.

According to the Guardian, in a statement released by the White House, Alan Krueger, the chairman of the council of economic advisers, said, "Today's employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but much more remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and the deep recession."

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said of the April figures, "We should be seeing numbers in the 500,000 jobs created per month. This is way, way off from what should happen in a normal recovery," according to the Guardian.