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U.S. Employers Added 253,000 Jobs Despite Economic Worries


The labor market is still defying gravity — for now.Employers added 253,000 jobs in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported Friday, in a departure from the cooling trend that had marked the first quarter and was expected to continue.The unemployment rate was 3.4 percent, down from 3.5 percent in March, and matched the level in January, which was the lowest since 1969. Wages also popped slightly, growing 4.4 percent over the past year.The higher-than-forecast job gain complicates the Federal Reserve’s potential shift toward a pause in interest rate increases. Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, said on Wednesday that the central bank might continue to raise rates if new data showed the economy wasn’t slowing enough to keep prices down.It’s also an indication that the failure of three banks and the resulting pullback on lending, which is expected to hit smaller businesses particularly hard, hasn’t yet hamstrung job creation.“All these things are telling us it’s not a hard stop; it’s creating a headwind, but not a debilitating headw …

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