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U.S. unemployment rate drops to 8.1 percent, lowest in 3 years

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — The unemployment rate in the United States fell to 8.1 percent in the month of April, reaching its lowest level in three years, the U.S. Labor Department (DoL) reported Friday.

In the April 2012 Employment Situation report, numbers showed that the U.S. labor market added 130,000 private sector jobs in the month of April, marking the 26th consecutive month in which private sector jobs have been added. The monthly figures have helped bring down the country’s jobless rate.

In the years before and during the deep recession, millions of manufacturing jobs were lost. However, the economy has added 485,000 manufacturing jobs in the past 26 months. On average, the U.S. has added 207,000 private sector jobs in the past four months, as the labor market added 53,000 more private sector jobs in February and March than previously had been reported.

“I would characterize our growth as durable and steady,” stated Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, noting that the national unemployment rate has fallen a full point in the last eight months. “Layoffs are continuing to come down and are now back to 2006 levels.”

In April, the largest gains — 62,000 new jobs — were in good-paying business and professional services careers, that is, more architects, engineers, computer programmers and consultants have been finding jobs, Solis noted. In addition, the country also added another 19,000 manufacturing jobs in April.

Solis also underlined that under the Obama administration, the country has created more than 4.2 million private sector jobs.

“We are seeing a resilient U.S. labor market continuing to recover from the deepest recession since the Great Depression,” Solis stated. “But there are still too many unemployed workers who still need assistance to get retrained to get back to work. We’re on the right path, and we know our recovery would be even stronger if Congress hadn’t blocked almost every single proposed investment in the American Jobs Act.”

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