The U.S. economy lost a net total of 20,000 jobs in April. While it is the fourth month in a row that the U.S. job market shrank, April's losses were not as steep as the prior month.
Friday's report from the Labor Department also says the jobless rate declined one-tenth of a percent to 5.0 percent.
Job gains in education and health care were not enough to make up for sharp losses in construction and manufacturing.
In spite of the job losses in the sector, a separate report said orders to U.S. factories increased slightly (1.4 percent) in March. That was an improvement over the previous month.
The U.S. economy has been hurt by soaring energy costs, a sharp decline in housing values, and turmoil in the credit markets.
Earlier this week, the U.S. central bank continued its campaign of cutting interest rates to boost economic growth. Friday, the Federal Reserve also expanded its efforts to make more credit available in the hope that banks will resume lending and get the economy moving faster.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.