Friday, May 6, 2011

US Unemployment Rises to 9% in April but Job Growth Strong

The BLS has released the April employment numbers and the news is good again - 244,000 new jobs added, all from the private sector (which actually added 268,000 jobs).  The unemployment rate actually edged up to 9% as more job seekers returned to the job market.

This rate of job growth is healthy and strong, but not fantastic and at this rate, as I have mentioned previously, it will take a long time to get back to pre-recession levels of employment.

This graph from the New York Times' Economix Blog is a sobering reminder of this fact:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Chart by Amanda Cox.Horizontal axis shows months. Vertical axis shows the ratio of that month’s nonfarm payrolls to the nonfarm payrolls at the start of recession. Note: Because employment is a lagging indicator, the dates for these employment trends are not exactly synchronized with National Bureau of Economic Research’s official business cycle dates.

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