Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 290,000 in April, the unemployment rate edged up to 9.9%, and the labor force increased sharply, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently. Job gains occurred 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.
In April, the number of unemployed persons was 15.3 million, and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.9%. The rate had been 9.7% for the first 3 months of this year.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for whites (9.0%) edged up in April, while the rates for adult men (10.1%), adult women (8.2%), teenagers (25.4%), blacks (16.5%), and Hispanics (12.5%) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.8%, not seasonally adjusted.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) continued to trend up over the month, reaching 6.7 million. In April, 45.9%of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.
Among the unemployed, the number of reentrants to the labor force rose by 195,000 over the month.
In April, the civilian labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to 65.2%, as the size of the labor force rose by 805,000. Since December, the participation rate has increased by 0.6 percentage points. The employment-population ratio rose to 58.8% over the month and has increased by 0.6 percentage points since December.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred 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.
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.
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 believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginally 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.