Jobless Rate Fell in April; Employers Shed Fewer Jobs

By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2008 8:16 AM CDT
People wait in line to enter a job fair on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 in New York.    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – US employers cut far fewer jobs in April than in recent months and the unemployment rate dropped to 5%, a better-than-expected showing that nonetheless still revealed strains in the nation's crucial labor market. For the fourth month in a row, the economy lost jobs, the Labor Department reported today. But in April the losses totaled 20,000, an improvement from the 81,000 reductions in payrolls logged in March.

The latest snapshot of the employment conditions—while clearly still weak—beat estimates from many economists,  who were anticipating job cuts of 75,000 and an unemployment rate rise to 5.2%, from 5.1% in March.