US employment rose more than expected in April and hiring was much stronger than previously thought in the prior two months, easing concerns belt-tightening in Washington was dealing a big blow to the economy.
Non-farm payrolls rose 165,000 last month and the jobless rate fell to 7.5%, the lowest since December 2008, the Labour Department said on Friday.
“Overall, a strong set of numbers which will reassure markets that the US economy is not as weak as it may have seemed given some of the earlier data,” said Andrew Grantham, an economist at CIBC World Markets in Toronto.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected April payrolls to rise 145,000 and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7.6%.
US stocks rallied on the data, while government bonds fell hard.