April Conundrum: More Jobs, Higher Unemployment

Private sector employment exceeded analysts’ expectations by adding 268,000 jobs last month, 37,000 more than were gained in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. But because more Americans stated they were looking for work, the official U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9 percent. –ARK


The unemployment rate rose slightly to 9 percent in April — the first gain in the rate since November — even as the economy added more jobs than during any month since 2006.

In all, nonfarm payrolls grew by 244,000 last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday, beating many analysts’ expectations that gains might be just 185,000. Market futures rose on the news, which startled investors who expected to see mediocre numbers that might have suggested that the economic recovery is stalling.

The overall jobless rate is up because more Americans indicated that they were looking for jobs than had in previous months, as opposed to being out of work but not actively on the job hunt.

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