Economists surveyed by Reuters had been expecting payroll growth of 185,000 and the headline jobless rate to tick up one-tenth to 4.6 percent. The payroll increase nearly tripled the dismal March number.
Market experts believe the report likely cements an imminent interest rate hike.
Wages grew seven cents an hour to an annualized pace of 2.5 percent.
The unemployment rate dropped even as the labor force participation rate edged lower to 62.9 percent. The employment-to-population ratio increased to 60.2 percent, its best showing of 2017 and the highest level since February 2009. Read more at CNBC.