Even Modest Hiring Numbers Alleviate Slump Fears

But labor participation remains in the pits


Moderate hiring in April and big upward revisions to past months eased fears the economy will dive into another slump, but the more uneven details gave no indication of any new momentum.

Payrolls grew by 165,000, with March and February gains adjusted up by a combined 114,000, said the Labor Department Friday. The jobless rate dipped to 7.5%, the lowest since December 2008.

But while more Americans entered the workforce, the labor participation rate held at the 1979 level of 63.3%. A broader gauge that includes underemployment ticked up to 13.9%. Also, the workweek shrank, and a smaller share of industries added jobs.