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U.S. employers added just 266,000 jobs in April, the slowest pace since January and far below market expectations for a gain of 1 million. March's 916,000 gain was revised down to 770,000. The unemployment rate ticked up by a tenth to 6.1%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.
Private payrolls rose by 218,000 when markets had forecast an increase of 938,000. Notable job gains in leisure and hospitality (+331,000) were partially offset by employment declines in temporary help services (-111,400), professional and business services (-79,000), and transportation and warehousing (-74,1000). Government payrolls were up 48,000.
The average workweek inched up to 35 hours from 34.9 hours in March. Average hourly earnings were up 0.7% in April after falling 0.1% in March.