Job growth fared better than expected in April despite bank turmoil and a decelerating economy, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 253,000 for the month, beating Wall Street estimates of 180,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate was 3.4%, against an estimate of 3.6%, and tied for the lowest level since 1969. A more encompassing number that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons edged lower to 6.6%.

Average hourly earnings, a key inflation barometer, rose 0.5% for the month, more than the 0.3% estimate.