The economy added 165,000 jobs in April while the unemployment rate declined to 7.5 percent, the lowest level in more than four years, as hiring in the U.S. continued to gain at a modest rate.
The Labor Department report, released this morning, also amended earlier estimates, reporting that 332,000 jobs were added in February instead of the previously stated 268,000 and raising the March figure from 88,000 to 138,000.
The jobs increase for February is robust, while those for March and April are middling, given that the economy needs to add about 150,000 jobs a month just to stay even with population growth. But the numbers suggest that the employment situation is at least holding together despite weak economic growth and continuing budget deficits.
The Dow reacted today by topping 15,000 for the first time in its history.