While April's unemployment rate dipped to 8.1 percent, statistics indicate that the chief reason was because more people gave up looking for work. The U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that the nation's economy added just 115,000 jobs in April, below March's upwardly revised 154,000 jobs and far fewer than the pace set earlier this year.
The unemployment rate has fallen a full percent point since August 2011 and the current level is a three-year low. But last month's decline was not because of any job growth. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively seeking work.
The manufacturing sector added 16,000 jobs to payrolls in April and professional services such as architecture, engineering and computer systems design also increased staffing. But transportation and warehousing lost 17,000 jobs last month and government payrolls fell by 15,000.