UPDATE — The White House in a prepared statement praised the unemployment report and urged U.S. lawmakers to do away with sequestration (the March 1 automatic budget cuts):

While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we remain focused on pursuing policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class, as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.

[...]

Now is not the time for Washington to impose self-inflicted wounds on the economy. The Administration continues to urge Congress to replace the sequester with balanced deficit reduction, while working to put in place measures to create middle-class jobs, such as by rebuilding our roads and bridges and promoting American manufacturing. The President will continue to press Congress to act on the measures he called for in his State of the Union address to make America a magnet for good jobs, help workers earn the skills they need to do those jobs, and make sure their hard work leads to a decent living.

U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, nudging unemployment down to 7.5 percent from its previous rate of 7.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The U-6 unemployment rate, considered to be a broader measure of the actual unemployment situation in the U.S., ticked up to 13.9 percent.

Increases were seen in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care.

“The unemployment rate, at 7.5 percent, changed little in April but has declined by 0.4 percentage point since January,” the report notes. “The number of unemployed persons, at 11.7 million, was also little changed over the month; however, unemployment has decreased by 673,000 since January.”

Here’s unemployment broken up by group:

  • Men: 7.1 Percent (unchanged)
  • Adult women: 6.7 percent (previous: 7.0 percent)
  • Teenagers: 24.1 percent (previous: 25.1 percent
  • Whites: 6.7 percent (previous: 6.8 percent)
  • Blacks: 13.2 percent(previous: 13.8 percent)
  • Hispanics: 9.0 percent (previous: 9.6 percent)
  • Asians (not seasonally adjusted): 5.1 percent (previous: 6.1 percent)

The number of people on long-term unemployment (i.e those who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more) in April fell by 258,000, bringing the number down to 4.4 million.

“Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 687,000, and their share [of the unemployed] has declined by 3.1 percentage points,” the report notes.

At 63.3 percent, the civilian labor force participation rate was essentially unchanged from March. The number of people employed part-time increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million.

“In April, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months,” the report reads.

“They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey,” it adds.

It continues:

Among the marginally attached, there were 835,000 discouraged workers in April, down by 133,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.

The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

The feds revised their February and March jobs numbers by a combined 114,000. The government now says employers added 332,000 jobs in February and 138,000 in March.

Markets are taking off in response to this morning’s report:

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Featured image courtesy Getty Images. This post has been updated.

Now is not the time for Washington to impose self-inflicted wounds on the economy.  The Administration continues to urge Congress to replace the sequester with balanced deficit reduction, while working to put in place measures to create middle-class jobs, such as by rebuilding our roads and bridges and promoting American manufacturing.  The President will continue to press Congress to act on the measures he called for in his State of the Union address to make America a magnet for good jobs, help workers earn the skills they need to do those jobs, and make sure their hard work leads to a decent living.