Snap Analysis: Jobs report shows strength with a caveat

Reuters

By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. private sector in April generated the most jobs since February 2006, but the jobless rate jumped back up to 9 percent from the previous month's 8.8 percent.

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Total U.S. non-farm payroll employment expanded by 244,000 jobs in April according to the Labor Department's survey of employers, well above median forecasts in a Reuters poll for a gain of 186,000 and the strongest reading in 11 months.

However, the separate household survey, from which the unemployment rate is derived, painted an entirely different picture. It showed the number of employed Americans falling by 190,000 on net following a 291,000 rise in March. The number of jobless in that report, meanwhile, rose by 205,000.

The increase in the jobless rate surprised forecasters, who had been looking for a steady reading of 8.8 percent. The unemployment rate had fallen sharply in recent months, though a shrinking labor force was a factor behind the decline.

The survey of employers, however, showed broad strength, although the pace of payroll employment has done little to whittle away at the ranks of jobless Americans.

"The number of unemployed persons, at 13.7 million, changed little in April," the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a statement.

Here are some other interesting details that emerge from the report, which can be found at http://bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm:

(Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, Editing by ChizuNomiyama)

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