Unemployment down for the wrong reason in April

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The national unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in April from March’s rate of 6.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning.

The declining unemployment rate, which was the lowest it has been since September 2008, was helped by 806,000 people dropping out of the workforce in April. The percentage of the population in the labor force fell to a level equal to those seen since the late 1970s.

Both the number of people who reported they are unemployed and looking for work and the number of people who had jobs were down in the report on the employment situation in April.

Employers also added jobs during the month. The total number of non-farm jobs rose by 288,000.

Some industries that had a net gain were manufacturing, which added 2,000 workers — 300 of them in the primary metals; health care with 18,7000 workers; administrative and waste services, which added 38,600 workers; leisure and hospitality with 28,000 workers; and government — specifically local governments that added 12,000 people to public schools and 4,800 municipal workers.

Ann Belser: abelser@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1699.

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