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U.S. Adds 428,000 Jobs in April, Unemployment Rate Stays at 3.6%

The U.S. economy added 428,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate remained unchanged from March at 3.6%, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.

This number represents little change from March, which saw an increase of a newly revised figure of 431,000 jobs, recently adjusted by 3,000 from the originally reported 431,000.

Notable job gains continued in leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and in transportation and warehousing. Retail, added 29,000 jobs in April, led by a 24,000 job gain in food and beverage stores and a 12,000 job gain in general merchandise stores. This was offset by losses in building material and garden supply stores and health and personal cares stores.

Overall, retail trade employment is up 284,000 jobs above February 2020 levels.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6%, with about 5.9 million people unemployed.

The April job gains come as a record number of people quit their jobs, exacerbating labor shortages across retail and other industries.

In March, about 4.5 million people quit their jobs at a rate of 3%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number represented a series high and an increase from January and February. However, the numbers for April have yet to be released.

Some retailers have introduced increased pay, benefits and sign-on bonuses and have held hiring events to attract and retain enough workers to meet consumer demand.

Overall, average hourly earnings rose by 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $31.85 in April. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.5%.Meanwhile, inflation continues to soar at record high levels. In March, consumer prices rose by 8.5% compared with a year ago, according to an April report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number was up from the 7.9% growth in February and represented the highest inflation rate since the 12-month period ending in December 1981.
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