United States employers in April added more jobs than forecast. Payrolls expanded by 244,000 last month, the biggest gain since May 2010, after a revised 221,000 increase the prior month, the Labour Department said Friday in Washington.
However the jobless rate climbed to 9%, the first increase since November, a separate survey of households showed. Employment was forecast to grow by 185,000 last month, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
The US economy has generated 760,000 private jobs in the past three months, the report showed. Overall, companies added 2.1 million jobs since last February, after the loss of 8.8 million as a result of the 18-month recession.
Private hiring, which excludes government agencies, rose by 268,000 in April, which is the most since February 2006, after a 231,000 increase in March.
Among companies adding workers is Norfolk Southern Corp, the fourth-biggest U.S. railroad, which is expanding payrolls as it benefits from an economic expansion that’s boosting shipping volumes.
The separate survey of households showed the size of the labour force was little changed in April and employment shrank by 190,000. That pushed the share of the population in the labour force down to 58.4% from 58.5% a month earlier.
Government payrolls decreased by 24,000 last month and local government employment dropped by 14,000. Factory payrolls increased by 29,000 last month, more than the survey forecast of a 20,000 gain, after a 22,000 rise in March.
US employment at service-providers rose 200,000 in April after a 184,000 gain the prior month. The health care industry added 37,300 workers in April. Construction payrolls rose 5,000 and retail trade employment increased 57,100. The gain at retailers may have reflected the effects of an Easter holiday that occurred later this year than last, making seasonal adjustment difficult for Labou Department.
The so-called underemployment rate -- which includes part- time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want work but have given up looking -- rose to 15.9% from 15.7%, Friday’s report showed.
Long-term unemployment, which means people unemployed for 27 weeks or more, fell to 43.4% of all job-seekers from 45.5% a month earlier.
While companies stepped up hiring, earnings increased. Average hourly earnings climbed by 3 cents to 22.95 USD in April, the report showed while the average work week for all employees held at 34.3 hours.
The number of under-employed (part time workers) also increased to 15.9%