U.S. jobless claims plunged to a five-month low in April, according to the Labor Department.
The number of jobless Americans fell by 4,000 to 7.6 million.
That’s a decrease of 3 percent, or 0.1 percent, from a month earlier.
That number is well below economists’ expectations of a significant contraction in the jobless rate.
The rate remained at 4.3 percent, the lowest level since March.
April was also the first month in more than four years that the job market remained largely unchanged.
The number of people out of work dropped to a six-month high in April after being near a seven-year low last month.
The labor department reported Friday that the labor force participation rate edged up to 62.4 percent, a 12-month peak and the highest level since November 2009.
That is a more than three-fold increase from the previous high in February.
While the labor market has been recovering, many Americans have struggled to find jobs.
The U.N. has said it expects a further 1.3 million people will be unemployed by the end of the year.
The unemployment rate is now at 7.1%, up from 6.2 percent in March and the lowest since October 2013.
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