US adds 290,000 jobs, but unemployment rises

Posted by on May 7th, 2010 and filed under Business/Economy, International. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Washington, May 7 (IANS) The US economy added an unexpectedly strong 290,000 jobs in April, its best gain in four years, in another sign of recovery after the worst recession in decades, though unemployment rose to 9.9 percent.

Up from a revised 230,000 jobs added in March, it was the largest number of jobs added to the labour force since March 2006, a government report released Friday said.

With revisions in March and February, there has been a gain of 573,000 jobs since the start of the year.

The report also includes a separate survey of households that it uses to estimate the unemployment rate, which increased to 9.9 percent. Economists cited by CNNMoney.com had forecast the rate would remain at the 9.7 percent rate reported for March.

The unemployment rate rose mostly because the government said 195,000 workers re-entered the labour force after giving up on job hunts during the recession.

More than a 100,000 jobs a month are needed just to keep up with the growth of the working-age population, even without reducing the millions of Americans who are already unemployed.

The job picture got a lift from the addition of 66,000 jobs by the US Census Bureau, which is in the process of completing the once-in-a-decade headcount of the US population.

But the gains went far beyond that one-time census boost, as private sector employers added 231,000 jobs.

Still, Friday’s jobless data was the latest to contribute to a picture of a slowly improving economy, and analysts hoped the employment numbers would help to fuel the momentum of upturns in business confidence, the New York Times said.

Recently released manufacturing figures show the sector picking up, and the overall economy has continued to expand since last summer, reaching an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 3.2 percent in the last quarter.

Retailers on Thursday reported a 0.5 percent increase in sales in April, and a 4.8 percent for the spring shopping season.

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