The nation's economy continued to generate new jobs at a healthy clip, but inflationary pressures in the labor sector remain quiet, according to the Labor Department's latest data.

Payrolls rose by 234,000 in April while the unemployment rate ticked up only slightly, to 4.3%, from 4.2% in March. Wages were up only 0.2%, bringing the year-over-year gain to 3.2%.

The latest figures "strongly suggest the Fed will remain on hold for at least the next several months," said Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, N.Y.

The pace of wage gains continues to slow. The year-over-year rise in wages was 3.9% in January, 3.7% in February, and 3.6% in March.

The robust labor market in the United States, where the unemployment rate hovers near three-decade lows, stands in stark contrast to other industrial countries.

Canada's jobless rate soared 0.5%, to 8.3% in April, according to a government report Friday. In Germany, meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose to 10.6% last month, from 10.5%, reversing a three-month decline.

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