290,000 Jobs Added, Yet Unemployment Rate Rises to 9.9%

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The labor market added 290,000 jobs in March — the largest gain since 2006. However, overall unemployment rose to 9.9% and U6 unemployment ticked up to 17.1%. A more in depth analysis of the employment situation will be released to our Premium subscribers this evening in the fresh issue of our Wall St. Cheat Sheet Premium. Click here to get today’s issue free.

Here is the official BLS release:

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- APRIL 2010

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 290,000 in April, the unemployment rate
edged up to 9.9 percent, and the labor force increased sharply, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in manufactur-
ing, professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospi-
tality. Federal government employment also rose, reflecting continued hiring
of temporary workers for Census 2010.

Household Survey Data

In April, the number of unemployed persons was 15.3 million, and the unem-
ployment rate edged up to 9.9 percent. The rate had been 9.7 percent for the
first 3 months of this year. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for whites (9.0 percent)
edged up in April, while the rates for adult men (10.1 percent), adult women
(8.2 percent), teenagers (25.4 percent), blacks (16.5 percent), and Hispanics
(12.5 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was
6.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) con-
tinued to trend up over the month, reaching 6.7 million. In April, 45.9 percent
of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more. (See table A-12.)

Among the unemployed, the number of reentrants to the labor force rose by
195,000 over the month. (See table A-11.)

In April, the civilian labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percent-
age point to 65.2 percent, as the size of the labor force rose by 805,000. Since
December, the participation rate has increased by 0.6 percentage point. The em-
ployment-population ratio rose to 58.8 percent over the month and has increased
by 0.6 percentage point since December. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes refer-
red to as involuntary part-time workers) was about unchanged at 9.2 million in
April. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut
back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

About 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in April,
compared with 2.1 million a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)
These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work,
and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted
as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding
the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in
April, up by 457,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)
Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they be-
lieve no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginal-
ly attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding
the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See
table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

In April, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 290,000. Sizable employment gains oc-
curred in manufacturing, professional and business services, health care, and in
leisure and hospitality. Federal government employment increased due to the hiring
of temporary workers for Census 2010. Since December, nonfarm payroll employment
has expanded by 573,000, with 483,000 jobs added in the private sector. The vast
majority of job growth occurred during the last 2 months. (See table B-1.)

Manufacturing added 44,000 jobs in April. Since December, factory employment has
risen by 101,000. Over the month, gains occurred in several durable goods indus-
tries, including fabricated metals (9,000) and machinery (7,000). Employment also
grew in nondurable goods manufacturing (14,000).

Mining added 7,000 jobs in April, with most of the increase in support activities
for mining. Since last October, mining has added 39,000 jobs.

In April, construction employment edged up (14,000), following an increase of 26,000
in March. Over the month, nonresidential building and heavy construction added 9,000
jobs each.

Employment in professional and business services rose by 80,000 in April. Temporary
help services continued to add jobs (26,000); employment in this industry has in-
creased by 330,000 since September 2009. Employment also rose over the month in ser-
vices to buildings and dwellings (23,000) and in computer systems design (7,000).

In April, health care employment grew by 20,000, including a gain of 6,000 in hospi-
tals. Over the past year, health care employment has increased by 244,000.

Employment rose by 45,000 in leisure and hospitality over the month. Much of this
increase occurred in accommodation and food services, which added 29,000 jobs. Food
services employment has risen by 84,000 over the past 4 months, while accommodation
has added 18,000 jobs over the past 3 months.

Federal government employment was up in April, reflecting the hiring of 66,000 tem-
porary workers for the decennial census.

Over the month, employment changed little in wholesale trade, retail trade, informa-
tion, and financial activities.

Employment in transportation and warehousing fell by 20,000 in April, reflecting a
large decline in courier and messenger services.

In April, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased
by 0.1 hour to 34.1 hours. The manufacturing workweek for all employees increased by
0.2 hour for the second straight month to 40.1 hours, and factory overtime was up by
0.1 hour over the month. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory em-
ployees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 33.4 hours in April.
(See tables B-2 and B-7.)

Average hourly earnings of all employees in the private nonfarm sector increased by
1 cent to $22.47 in April. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have in-
creased by 1.6 percent. In April, average hourly earnings of private-sector production
and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $18.96. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from -14,000
to +39,000, and the change for March was revised from 162,000 to 230,000.

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