The Labor Department report, released Friday, also showed that job gains for both February and March turned out to be bigger than previously estimated. That also suggested that the overall health of the job market is improving.
The 274,000 net number of jobs added in April was the most since February and exceeded economists' forecasts. Before the report was released analysts were calling for a gain of around 175,000. They were also predicting the unemployment rate would be unchanged from March's reading of 5.2 percent.
Payroll gains were widespread, with retailers, health care providers, construction companies and financial services all showing employment rising. Manufacturing, however, lost jobs for the second straight month.
Job gains for March were revised to 146,000 from an initial estimate of just 110,000. And, payrolls for February were moved up to show an increase of 300,000, better than the 243,000 previously reported.