Skip to content.
Updated at 7:00 am on 5 May 2012
The US economy created 115,000 jobs during April, down on the previous month.
However, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate fell slightly to 8.1% from 8.2% in March.
Employment has been rising for the past eight months, but the jobless rate has been stuck above 8% since early 2009.
The weak report pushed shares lower in the United States and Europe with the Dow Jones index falling 150 points, or 1.2%, to 13,056.
The Nasdaq also fell 1.9%, while markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt closed almost 2% lower.
The BBC reports jobs were created in the business services, retail and healthcare sectors in April, but were lost in transport.
The Labor Department said the number of long-term unemployed was "little changed at 5.1 million".
The unemployment rate hit a three-year low, but part of the reason for the fall was a drop in the number of people looking for work, which reduced the size of the workforce.
The US had two consecutive months of robust jobs growth in January and February, with increases of well over 200,000 jobs in both months.
But the past two months have seen a sharp fall in job creation, with 154,000 jobs added in March, a figure revised up from 120,000.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
Audio is categorised based on the frequency of the programme it was heard in. Click on the headings below to access the programmes. For the most recently published audio, go to the latest audio page.
Streams are in Windows Media format. Mac and Linux users may need to install additional software. Get help with audio
A selection of music interviews, reviews, videos, concerts, sessions, and performances.
Downloads and podcasts are available for selected programmes. Our podcast page has a complete list of feeds.
Help on using online audio: formats, software, podcasts, downloading, and troubleshooting.