Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today shows the April unemployment rate at 6.3%, the lowest level since September 2008.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 288,000 in April. Job growth had averaged 190,000 per month over the prior 12 months.
In April, employment growth was widespread, according to the Bureau, led by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and construction.
Also in April, employment in construction grew by 32,000, with job growth in heavy and civil engineering construction (+11,000) and residential building (+7,000). Construction has added 189,000 jobs over the past year, with almost three-fourths of the gain occurring in the past six months.