Where Did That Bush Boom Go?

An anemic 88,000 new jobs were created by the Busheconomy in April. Unemployment rose, February and March new job numbers are revised downward.

The nation’s unemployment rate edged up to 4.5 percent in April as cautious employers added the fewest new jobs in more than two years, signaling that the labor market is starting to feel some of the strain of the sluggish economy.

The fresh employment picture provided by the Labor Department on Friday showed that payrolls grew by just 88,000 last month as job losses spread beyond manufacturing and construction and into retailing and financial services. Workers’ paycheck also grew more slowly.

The new tally of jobs added to the economy was the fewest since 65,000 jobs were added in November 2004.

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Economists were predicting the unemployment rate would nudge up to 4.5 percent. However, they expected job growth to be a bit stronger, with employers adding around 100,000 new jobs to their ranks.

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Employers added 90,000 positions in February, versus the 113,000 reported last month. Payrolls grew by 177,000 in March, slightly less than the 180,000 previously reported.

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