The U.S. unemployment rate is now at 9.9%, according to today's U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The rate had been 9.7% for the first 3 months of this year.
Yet, 290,000 jobs were added in April. The Labor Department cites that the job increases came in manufacturing, professional and business services, health care and leisure and hospitality. Federal government employment also rose, reflecting continued 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 two months.
Average hourly earnings by all private nonfarm employees increased by 1 cent to $22.47 in April. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.6%. In April, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $18.96.
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