The U.S. economy added 115,000 jobs in April as the unemployment rate remained mostly unchanged at 8.1%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

April's job growth rate is significantly lower than the 154,000 jobs added in March (revised from 120,000) and the 259,000 reported in February, analysts with Econoday pointed out.

The realized job gains came in well below analyst expectations of 165,000 new jobs for the month of April, the research firm said. 

"April jobs were softer than expected but there were upward revisions and the unemployment rate dipped to 8.1% from 8.2% in March," Econoday added. "Seasonality issues apparently are still at play."

Econoday noted that private payrolls rose by 130,000 in April after a 166,000 increase in March. Analysts had expected a much larger increase of 178,000 new jobs last month.

The news struck analysts as seemingly pessimistic, despite the market still reporting more than 100,000 job gains.

"The very modest 115,000 increase in U.S. nonfarm payrolls in April will raise fears that the recovery is fading fast, just like it did this time last year," Paul Ashworth, chief economist with Capital Economics.

kpanchuk@housingwire.com