The economy added 223,000 new jobs in April, up from 85,000 in March. Today's BLS jobs report also estimates the unemployment rate down to 5.4%, the lowest level since May 2008. Keep in mind, the unemployment rate was 6.2% just a year ago.
You may wonder why the employment data seems to relay good news while recent GDP growth has been weak. One possibility is that the Advance Estimate of GDP growth in the first quarter will be revised upward when we are able to evaluate a more complete data set. Another possibility is that the employment figures will be revised downward. In fact, in this current report, the jobs growth for March has been revised downward to just 85,000 (from the original estimate of 126,000).
Just like last month, the employment in oil related activities continued to fall. Among the new jobs 45,000 were added by the construction industry. Over the past 12 months, the industry added 280,000 jobs. This shows signs of recovery after the housing bubble in 2006.