On Friday, the Labor Department reported the economy gained 288,000 jobs in April. Economists had expected a gain of 218,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.3%, the biggest drop in the rate since September 2008.
The Labor Department also revised March payrolls up by 36,000. With the revisions, the rate of job growth the last three months has been 236,000 jobs gained. This is just above the level necessary to keep up with population growth.
Friday’s report comes just days after a very disappointing GDP number. The Commerce Department reported earlier this week that the economy grew just 0.1% in the 1st Quarter, a considerable slowdown from the 2.6% growth reported at the end of 2013.