U.S. job growth increased at its fastest pace in more than two years in April and the unemployment rate dived to a 5-1/2 year low of 6.3 percent, suggesting a sharp rebound in economic activity early in the second quarter.
TABLE: KEY POINTS:
* Nonfarm payrolls surged 288,000 last month
* Private paryolls rose 273,000
* March and February figures both revised up
* Drop in the unemployment rate was largest since December 2010, matching the largest since 1983
RUSSELL PRICE, SENIOR ECONOMIST, AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL, TROY, MICHIGAN
"It's very encouraging for the overall pace of the economy looking forward. It shows that the negative reading on GDP is something to be ignored. Throughout this summer the economy will likely continue to gain traction, and we're likely to see GDP numbers improve significantly up to the mid-3s, for the next two quarters at least.
"You combine that with the upside adjustments to March and February and it shows that the economy really has strong underlying fundamentals supporting its growth. Temporary headwinds such as the bad weather can be certainly managed.
"The big drop in the unemployment rate may cause some concerns in consideration of what the Fed may do, but I still think that we're looking at a second quarter of 2015 likelihood for the first consideration for the hike in the Fed Funds rate. The ancillary data just says that even though the employment rate is down, the labor market in general still has a good amount of slack."
SHAUN OSBORNE, CURRENCY STRATEGIST AT TD SECURITIES IN TORONTO
"These are pretty good headline numbers, though a bit softer in details. Household participation rate was a little low. But overall these are pretty good numbers. People will take it as support along with the housing numbers that the U.S. economy is back on track. This should set up the dollar for gains for the rest of today's session."
GUS FAUCHER, SENIOR ECONOMIST, PNC FINANCIAL SERVICES, PITTSBURGH
"We may be seeing an acceleration in job growth. It's sustainable to have a 200,000-plus job growth over the next 6 to 9 months. The drop in 800,000 in labor participation is concerning. I don't think that's a permanent event. We will see the workforce expand. Average workweek is at its maximum so employers have to add more people. This is what the Fed wants to see. They will continue to slow their asset purchases, but this isn't going to force the Fed to raise interest