Unemployment rate dips to 7.5%

The number of unemployed persons held at about 11.7 million, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate dipped slightly from 7.6% to 7.5%. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 8.1%.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 165,000 in April, with gains in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade and health care. 

Employment changed little over the month in construction, with small offsetting movements in the residential and nonresidential components. Construction gained an average of 27,000 jobs per month over the prior six months. 

Manufacturing employment was unchanged in April.