U.S. employers added 288,000 jobs in April as hiring occurred at its strongest pace since January 2012. Almost every industry stepped up hiring, according to the Labor Department's monthly employment report.
Construction firms added 32,000 workers, primarily to work on offices, commercial buildings and infrastructure instead of housing. The health care industry added 18,700, restaurants and bars 32,600.
And after consumer spending recovered in March from a winter slowdown, retailers responded in April by bringing aboard 34,000 more employees.
The gains were much broader in April than in recent months. Hiring by public school districts caused payrolls to increase for a government sector that has otherwise been shedding workers over the previous 12 months.
More than 10.4 percent of the jobs added last year were for temporary workers, a segment of the economy with little job security. Their share of the job gains last month fell to a more stable 8.4 percent.
The unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent from 6.7 percent in March.
But that drop occurred mainly because fewer people began hunting for work in April than they usually do each month. This caused the share of the population who are employed or seeking jobs to fall to 62.8 percent from 63.2 percent in March.