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April unemployment rate drops but 800K leave workforce

Rate falls to 6.3% largely on drop in participation

briefcase and paper

The unemployment rate fell to 6.3% in April, a significant drop from 6.7% last month, the latest U.S. Department of Labor Employment Situation report said.

This is also drastically lower than the consensus forecast of 6.6%. However, analysts with Econoday said that a low participation rate contributed to the decline.

But, the analysts noted that the question remains as to whether the improvement is a catch up from adverse weather.

The number of unemployed people dropped by 733,000 and came in at 9.8 million.

Since the start of 2014, neither measure has shown a lot of movement, with the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declining by 1.2 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively.

Among the major participating worker groups, unemployment rates declined in April for adult men (5.9%), adult women (5.7%), teenagers (19.1%), whites  (5.3%), blacks (11.6%) and Hispanics (7.3%).

Meanwhile, the jobless rate for Asians was 5.7%, which is little change over the year.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks of more) decreased by 287,000 in April to 3.5 million.

In addition, labor force participation dropped by 806,000 in April, following an increase of 503,000 in March.

Although the participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 62.8% in April, it has shown no clear trend in recent months and currently is the same as it was this past October. 

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