263K US jobs added in April — including 80K in real estate

Unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to a 49-year low

The economy surpassed all expectations in April with employment across the country bolstered by 263,000 new jobs, including tens of thousands within the real estate industry, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Analysts had only predicted 190,000 new jobs to be added this month. At 3.6 percent, the unemployment rate hit a 49-year low and surpassed economists’ projections of a 3.8 percent rate, according to the labor department statistics.

“Leaving aside month-to-month fluctuations, the labor market is still very strong, adding almost double the number of workers needed to keep pace with new entrants to the labor force in any given month,” Eric Winograd, AllianceBernsetein’s senior economist, told CNBC following release of the Labor Statistics data Friday morning.

According to the report, wages are up 0.2 percent from the previous month and are holding steady at 3.2 percent yearly growth. The average employee now brings in $27.77 an hour.

Some industries saw more robust job growth than others — professional and business services led with 76,000 new jobs while construction added 33,000. While financial services added 110,000 jobs over the past year, nearly three-quarters of that growth, or approximately 80,000 jobs, was spurred by hiring within the real estate industry.

Meanwhile, with the recent construction growth and the first rise in pending home sales in 15 months, the strong jobs report suggests a slowdown in new construction could be coming to an end — and, according to Fannie Mae’s chief economist Doug Duncan, the employment boost is helping to ease the current housing inventory shortage.

“The additional jobs suggest that positive housing construction activity will continue, helping to alleviate the for-sale housing shortage,” Duncan said in a prepared statement.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun also praised the positive jobs report.

“Fantastic news on the jobs market as abundant job openings are getting filled. Such conditions boost consumer confidence which further feeds the economy.” Yun said in a prepared statement. “Despite the hefty 263,000 net new job creation in April (and 2.6 million over the recent 12 months), essentially no jobs were added in the key housing sector where there is an acute housing shortage. Jobs in residential construction were reduced by 2,500 and grew by only 3,100 in residential contractor trade in April.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko