UNITED STATES – April 17, 2017: The unemployment rate ticked up in April to 5.7 percent, the Labor Department said on Friday, the latest indication that the U.S. economy remains in a soft spot.

    The jobs report also showed the number of people who have taken advantage of a jobless benefits program dropped to 3.3 million, down from 3.6 million in March.

    The rate for the 12 weeks ending April 18 was unchanged at 5.8 percent.

    The number of unemployed people fell to 3 million, or 2.7 million fewer than in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a release.

    It also said the number with jobless payments of $1,500 or more dropped by 1.2 million to 2.9 million.

    The Labor Department, which collects unemployment and labor force data from a network of more than 3,000 private employers, said the data show the economy is “on a strong track.”

    The number who applied for unemployment benefits jumped in April from March to 9.3 percent, while the number who got benefits dropped from 3 million to 1.6 billion.

    The labor department also reported that the unemployment rate dropped to 5 percent in April, down sharply from 5.6 percent in March and the previous month.

    The unemployment rate peaked at 6.7 in December 2008, but has been on a downward trend since then.

    A stronger-than-expected economy in the second quarter may help push up the unemployment number in the final three months of the year.

    In a separate release, the labor department said more than 4.1 million people gained jobs in April.

    That’s the highest monthly gain since February 2014, when the economy added 4.4 million jobs.

    People who have jobs in the U, and have looked for work, are still adding jobs at a faster rate than the broader population, the report showed.

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