The data from the Labor Department blew past analysts’ expectations, which had pegged job growth at 190,000 jobs. The unemployment rate last month, meanwhile, ticked down from 3.8% in March.
The numbers signal that economic jitters late last year, sparked by concerns over trade tensions with China and warning signs of a potential global economic slowdown, may have eased. Stocks have rallied this year, marking a sharp departure from some economists’ predictions in 2018 and early 2019 that a recession might be looming.
“It’s much more exciting than anyone had expected,” Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank, told The New York Times. “No matter how you slice and dice this, it looks like the economy is doing fine.”
The numbers are sure to be a talking point for President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers. Trump cheered the numbers in a tweet Friday morning.