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Unemployment in US lowest since 1969, says Labor Department

Christian Fernsby |
The U.S. jobs machine kept humming along in April, adding a robust 263,000 new hires while the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, the lowest in a generation, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Average hourly earnings growth held at 3.2% over the past year. The monthly gain was 0.2%, below the expected 0.3% increase, bringing the average to $27.77. The average work week also dropped 0.1 hours to 34.4 hours.

Unemployment was last this low in December 1969 when it hit 3.5%.

A broader unemployment gauge that includes those who have quit looking for jobs as well as the underemployed held at 7.3%, where it has been since February.

Those counted as not in the labor force surged by 646,000 to a fresh high of 96.2 million.

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