by Peter Spence, Economics Correspondent
US jobs growth has slowed to its weakest pace in seven months, setting back hopes for higher interest rates across the Atlantic.
Official figures revealed that 160,000 workers found new jobs in April, well below the 200,000 expected by analysts. Last month’s increase appeared tepid compared with March’s 208,000 gain. The numbers, compiled by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, showed that retailers and construction businesses in particular had pulled back on hiring.
As hiring slowed, the unemployment rate, which forecasters had thought would drop to 4.9pc, instead stagnated compared with the previous month, at 5pc in April.