Analysts had expected to see 215,000 job additions, on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The headline unemployment rate has plummeted from 6.7 per cent to 6.3 per cent. Its lowest level since September 2008.
Of the 104 economists polled by Reuters, none expected job growth this high. The highest payrolls estimate was 279,000, and the lowest 150,000. Our canine forecaster Blue was sadly well off the mark. He saw 190,000 job additions in April, far too bearish a punt.
Not everything is rosy however - there's a big drop in the labour force. While unemployment dropped by 733,000 (including a 287,000 drop in long-term unemployment), the labour force is down by 833,000.
One neat feature to check out in the following months: Bloomberg now added support for Twitter guesses of the NFP print. Those who tweet #NFPGuesses are added to the data series, which can be accessed via Bloomberg terminals.
The Twitter NFP Forecast is down to 209K, but relatively stable this AM: (more pessimistic than the street) pic.twitter.com/KeHfd9bbNy— Michael McDonough (@M_McDonough) May 2, 2014