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Unemployment Rate Hits Lowest Level Since 2007

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Unemployment Rate Hits Lowest Level Since 2007

The U.S. unemployment rate continued to decline throughout April to 4.4 percent against a 4.6-percent forecast and 4.5-percent March rate, according to a Friday employment report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economist Mohamed El-Erian said the lower rate could eventually manifest in higher individual earnings.

"With slack continuing to be taken out of the labor market, the prospects are for higher wage growth in the remainder of the year," El-Erian told Benzinga.

April saw an average hourly earnings increase of $0.07 to a sum of $26.19.

The rate reduction was fostered by an 211,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls. Leisure and hospitality contributed 55,000 jobs, followed by professional and business services (39,000), health care and social assistance (37,000), financial activities (19,000) and mining (9,000).

"This solid jobs report is consistent with the view that the weak first quarter data suggest an economic soft patch that is both temporary and reversible, and that the Federal Reserve will be tempted to hike rates again as early as June," El-Erian said.

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) was up 0.15 percent in pre-market futures trading following the report. Although not fully rebounded to the all-time high achieved in early March, the S&P 500 recovered toward the end of April and closed at a rate of $238.76 Thursday.

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