The Department of Labor said Friday that 244,000 jobs were added last month after a gain of a revised 221,000 in March. The unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in April from 8.8 percent in March.
As has been the case for several months, all of the increase came from private employers, which added another 268,000 jobs last month on top of the revised 231,000 in March, the monthly report said. Results of the previous two months were revised to show an additional 46,000 jobs were added.
Governments, struggling to balance budgets as they deal with shrinking revenues and growing deficits, cut 24,000 jobs last month. Most of the drop came at the local level, where 14,000 jobs were lost in April after a decline of 15,000 in March.
Economists said the report was generally good news.
The United States economy added far more jobs than expected in April as the recovery continued to pick up steam."There seems to be more underlying momentum there than certainly had been feared going into the report," said Nigel Gault, the chief United States economist for IHS Global Insight. "We do seem to be moving into the stage of the business cycle where we get self-reinforcing improvements in employee and consumer spending."
But he and other economists said that there were offsetting factors, like falling government employment numbers, weak construction figures, no expansion in average weekly hours, and a small rise in average hourly earnings.
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