The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday that the American economy added 288,000 jobs in April—roughly 70,000 more than what economists were predicting.
The American economy hasn't seen this kind of growth since January 2012, when 360,000 jobs were added. The number of jobs added in April is also 85,000 more than what was added in March (203,000). The BLS frequently revises initial figures; the bureau initially reported that 192,000 jobs were added in March. Economists were predicting growth around 210,000 to 218,000. Payroll company ADP and Moody's Analytics also fell closer to these estimates—they reported 220,000 jobs added on Wednesday.
Construction, an industry that employs 6 million, added 32,000 jobs in April. This was the strongest month of growth for the industry since January, when the sector added 51,000 jobs.
Manufacturing did better in April than in March, adding 12,000 jobs last month. April's growth was still less than in February, when manufacturing added 20,000 jobs.
On Wednesday, ADP and Moody's reported that construction added 19,000 jobs and manufacturing added 1,000 jobs.
Growth slowed in architectural and engineering services, however, adding 3,800 jobs. That's less than March's growth but an uptick from February.
The three construction sectors—construction of buildings, heavy and civil engineering construction, and specialty trade contractors—added a similar number of jobs in April. Construction of buildings added 11,000, up from 4,900 in March. Heavy and civil engineering added 10,500, up from 1,900 in March. Specialty trade contractors added nearly the same in April (10,200) as March (10,700).
Charts: Maggie Goldstone; Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics