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Feds Announce Lowest Unemployment Rate Under President Obama

Lowest in five years?

Resumes sit in a basket at the Primerica booth during the Job Hunter's Boot Camp at College of San Mateo on June 7, 2011 in San Mateo, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

U.S. employers added 288,000 jobs in April, pushing the unemployment rate to 6.3 percent, down from its previous posting of 6.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The unemployment rate was pushed lower in part because nearly 988,000 people dropped out of the labor force.

The U-6 unemployment rate, which includes the adult, non-military and non-jailed population that is currently employed or actively seeking work, fell to 12.3 percent, down from its earlier read of 12.7 percent.

The latest data on unemployment in the U.S. marks a five-year low. Earlier estimates had put April’s jobs numbers at around 210,000.

Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate fell slightly to 62.8 percent, a 35-year low:

graph 1

Professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and construction, were the main beneficiaries of job growth in April, according to Friday’s report.

Further, according to government data, the employment-population (58.9 percent) ratio was unchanged in March.

graph 2

Here’s unemployment broken up by group:

• Men: 5.9 Percent (previous: 6.2 percent)

• Women: 5.7 percent (previous: 6.2 percent)

• Teenagers: 19.1 percent (previous: 20.9 percent)

• Whites: 5.3 percent (previous: 5.8 percent)

• Blacks: 11.6 percent (previous: 12.4 percent)

• Hispanics: 7.3 percent (previous: 7.9 percent)

• Asians (not seasonally adjusted): 5.7 percent (previous: 5.4 percent)

The number of persons “marginally attached” to the labor force in April held steady at 2.2 million, unchanged from March.

"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 continues:

Among the marginally attached, there were 783,000 discouraged workers in April, little changed 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 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Markets are poised to trade higher following Friday’s jobs report:

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

This post has been updated.

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