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National job growth beats expectations, MN DEED to release April data

Employers nationwide added a surprising 253,000 jobs last month and unemployment dropped to 3.4 percent.

ST PAUL, Minn. — A new Labor Department report shows job growth beat expectations last month, even with turmoil in the nation's banking sector and a slowing economy.

Employers added 253,000 jobs in April, which is the most since January and about 73,000 more jobs than many economists predicted. Additionally, the national unemployment rate is now sitting at 3.4% and is tied for the lowest since 1969. The last time the unemployment rate was lower was in October 1953.

Daniel Hornung, President Joe Biden's special assistant for economic policy, also points to improved numbers for African Americans and women.

"Today we learned the unemployment rate for African Americans fell to 4.7 percent," Hornung said. "That's the lowest number on record. And the share of working-age Americans in the workforce is now at its highest level since 2008 and its highest level on record for women, so this is a very encouraging report."

Still, the economy faces stubborn inflation, bank stress, and the debt ceiling deadline, which could hit on June 1. Top congressional leaders will meet next week in an effort to break the debt ceiling stalemate after GOP leaders rejected a short-term extension.

"That's not negotiation in good faith," U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance (R - Ohio) said of the proposed extension. "That's kicking the can further down the road and hoping that the political winds change a little bit."

Wednesday, the Federal Reserve reinforced its fight against high inflation, raising its key interest rate to the highest level in 16 years.

In Minnesota, a Department of Employment and Economic Development spokesperson says April data will be available on May 19. 

In March, DEED reported the state unemployment rate inched downward from February.

"The unemployment rate in Minnesota, 2.8 percent, is actually lower than it is in the rest of the country, one of the strongest job markets in the history of the state," Hornung said. "We think that's a very good thing."

Still, the state lost 5,700 jobs, a slight decrease from February. While the private sector lost 6,100 jobs that month, the government added 400 jobs, offsetting the numbers.

"The focus really from here needs to be on maintaining this economic recovery, making sure Americans and folks in Minnesota can continue to be able to find good jobs, good jobs that you can raise a family on," Hornung said.

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