Employers in the U.S. added more nonfarm payroll jobs than expected in April, expanding payrolls by 290,000, as the jobless rate rose to 9.9 percent with more workers rejoining the market looking for work in the recovering labor market.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is up from 9.7 percent in March, where the nation’s jobless rate has held since the beginning of the year. The U.S. Department of Labor said the hiring of 66,000 temporary employees for the 2010 Census helped boost the payroll count, but the gains also were widespread among the private sector, with increases of at least 40,000 jobs in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the increase Friday, which was the strongest in more than four years. Economists were looking for a more scant 190,000 jobs to be added last month.
The increase was bolstered by the government adding 66,000 temporary workers to handle the census process which is ongoing, but a positive signal for growth was the addition of 231,000 jobs up from the 162,000 first reported, while jobs grew by 39,000 positions in February, reversing the loss of 14,000 jobs previously reported added by private employers, the most since March 2006.
The data from the BLS was gathered before the stock market fluctuated amid the concerns over the European debt crisis spreading to the U.S. financial system. Economists fear that companies could move to a more cautious approach in the future.
Sectors that showed a jump in hiring for April included Manufacturers, construction companies, retailers, professional and business services, education and health services. The weak areas were transportation and warehousing, and information companies, which all trimmed jobs last month.
On the depressing side, 6.7 million Americans have been out of work for at least six month, according to the April data, which is a record high. These individuals make up 45.9 percent of all unemployed workers.