The U.S. added 165,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department said Friday, while the jobless rate edged down to 7.5%, the lowest since December 2008.
Economists had forecast nonfarm payrolls to rise by 153,000, The jobless rate was expected to remain at 7.6%. In addition, February and March hiring were revised up by a net 114,000.
Stocks jumped at the market open on hopes that the job market and overall economy are doing better than many had feared.
However, the labor force participation rate remained at a decades-low 63.3%. If participation had held constant since December 2007, when the recession started, the jobless rate would still be 11%.