The US economy added just 115,000 new jobs to the non-farm payroll in April – a substantial drop from 154,000 in March – according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of unemployed (12.5 million) and the unemployment rate of 8.1 per cent changed little.
Employment in professional and business services increased by 62,000, retail trade employment rose by 29,000 and health care continued to add 19,000 jobs.
Employment in food and drink services rose by 20,000, while manufacturing employment continued its upward trend (+16,000).
Transportation and warehousing lost 17,000 jobs in April, with declines in transit and ground passenger transportation (-11,000) and couriers and messengers (-7,000).
Work was stable in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, wholesale trade, information, financial activities and government.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose by 1 cent to $23.38.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.5 per cent), adult women (7.4 per cent), teenagers (24.9 per cent), whites (7.4 percent), and Hispanics (10.3 per cent) showed little or no change in April, while the rate for African Americans (13 per cent) declined over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.2 percent in April (not seasonally adjusted).
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) remained at 5.1 million in April. The civilian labour force participation rate declined in April to 63.6 per cent, while the employment:population ratio was near-static at 58.4 per cent.
The number of those employed part-time for economic reasons was 7.9 million.