Employers in the U.S. added fewer workers than forecast in April and the jobless rate unexpectedly declined as people left the labor force, underscoring concern the world’s largest economy may be losing speed.
Payrolls climbed 115,000, the smallest gain in six months, after a revised 154,000 rise in March that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 160,000 advance. The jobless rate fell to a three-year low of 8.1 percent and earnings stagnated.
Government payrolls decreased by 15,000. State and local governments employment dropped by 11,000.
Chrysler led the five largest automakers by U.S. sales in exceeding analysts’ estimates for April, reporting a 20 percent jump. Chrysler, Ford Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. this week said they will add shifts at factories this year. General Motors Co., the top-selling automaker in the U.S., raised its forecast for full-year U.S. light-vehicle sales.