(WASHINGTON ) — Employers added 115,000 jobs in April, fewer than economists expected. Still, the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Economists had expected to add about 165,000 jobs, according to a consensus figure from Bloomberg.
“The unemployment rate is not materially changing, which is disappointing since privately held companies have continued to grow their sales and are generally the engine of job growth,” said Brian Hamilton, CEO of Sageworks and a leading expert on privately held companies. “This probably reflects continued anxiety about the economy and where it will be 12 months from now. We are 34 months into an expansion and an 8.1 percent unemployment rate is too high at this point.”
Employers added 120,000 jobs in March, a disappointing amount, which showed the jobless rate at 8.2 percent. But the Labor Department revised the March figure upward on Friday to 155,000.
Employment increased in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care, but declined in transportation and warehousing, the government said.
On Thursday, the Labor Department reported people filing for unemployment benefits fell last week. After inching higher during the last few weeks, the jobless claims fell to 365,000 for the week ending April 28, down from 392,000 in the prior week.
Hiring among U.S. private employers dropped in April to the lowest level in seven months, payroll company ADP reported on Wednesday.
Among the major worker groups, teenagers have the highest unemployment rate, but the imminent summer hiring season may make a dent in that figure.
In April, teenagers had a 24.9 percent unemployment rate, compared with a 7.5 percent for adult men and 7.4 percent among adult women.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Kathryn Vasel and Jill Disis, CNN
Selena Larson, CNN
Shannon Gupta, CNN
Jacqueline Howard, CNN