Job growth was a bit slower than analysts had been expecting in April, but the real surprise came in the form of downward revisions to payroll expansion for the prior two months.
The Labor Department said Friday that 88,000 workers joined nonfarm payrolls last month, about 12,000 below the consensus estimate. As expected, the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.5% from 4.4% in March.
What hadn't been expected was the alteration to the past data. March jobs growth was changed to show an increase of 177,000 workers, a decrease of 3,000 from the initial data. For February, 90,000 jobs were added, a decline of 23,000.
For several months, employment numbers have been subject to sizable revisions, but by and large any recalculations have been higher rather than lower.
Hourly earnings were up 0.2% last month. Year-over-year earnings have now risen 3.7%.