US unemployment rate lowest since 1969

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The US unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level for more than 49 years in April, according to official figures.

The jobless rate fell from 3.8% to 3.6%, the US Labor Department said, the lowest since December 1969.

However, the fall was due to a large number of people – 490,000 – leaving the labour force during April.

The data also showed that the world’s largest economy added a stronger-than-expected 263,000 jobs during last month.

Wage data showed that average earnings grew at an annual rate of 3.2%.

Analysts said the figures indicated that the economy remained healthy, but was not running at a pace that might cause the US Federal Reserve to alter interest rates.

Hiring gains were seen in nearly all sectors of the economy during April.

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