An acceleration in US employment growth in March resulted in 180,000 new jobs, in a sign the US economy remains durable despite a housing slowdown.
US businesses hired more workers than expected in March
The labour department report showed job growth was stronger in both January and February than previously thought.
The March unemployment rate also dropped to 4.4% from 4.5% in February.
Analysts said the figures suggested the economy was part of a "soft landing", in which growth slows enough to contain inflation but not sink into a downturn.
It appears to support Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke's hypothesis that the world's biggest economy is able to weather a big slump in housing and will maintain modest growth in 2007.