The U.S. labor market continues to run strong, creating an unexpectedly high number of 263,000 jobs in April. According to the latest jobs report, published today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent last month, the lowest level since December 1969 and down from a 30-year high of 10.0 percent measured in October 2009 in the aftermath of the latest recession. 

Total nonfarm employment has now risen for 103 consecutive months as the U.S. economy created more than 20 million jobs since the end of the great recession in 2009. Nonfarm payrolls reached 151,095,000 in April, up from 130,501,000 in July 2009, the first month of the current expansion.