Job growth totals 253,000 in April


Job growth fared better than expected in April despite the banking turmoil and a slowing economy, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 253,000 for the month, beating Wall Street estimates for growth of 180,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate was 3.4% against an estimate of 3.6% and tied for the lowest level since 1969.

The average hourly wage, a key barometer of inflation, rose 0.5% for the month, more than the 0.3% estimate. On an annual basis, salaries increased by 4.4%, which is higher than the expectation of a gain of 4.2%.

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