US job growth accelerates in April

STORY: A report from the U.S. labor department on Friday showed job growth unexpectedly accelerated in April, while wage gains increased solidly.

Employers added roughly a quarter of a million jobs last month, pointing to sustained labor market strength.

That could lead the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates higher for longer as it continues to try to lower high inflation.

The unemployment rate fell back to a more than 50-year low of 3.4%. And though data for February and March were revised sharply lower.

The Fed lifted interest rates a quarter of a point this week and signaled it may pause hikes from here, but one economist tells Reuters the central bank may need to rethink that after seeing this report.

Other economists, however, believe that the labor market is overstating the health of the economy. They point to consumer spending that stalled in February and March and five straight quarters of productivity declines on a year-over-year basis, the longest such stretch since the government started tracking it.

With risks of a recession mounting because of the high borrowing costs and tighter credit conditions that have coincided with financial market stress, the hiring landscape could change quickly.

Stocks though were higher in midday trading following the jobs report with Apple contributing to the gains after posting solid earnings.