I hate mixed messages but it seems there is finally some good news on the employment front. According to the Department of Labor this morning, non-farm payroll employment added 244,000 jobs in April, with the private sector seeing job growth of 268,000.
While that figure exceeded expectations, the unemployment rate rose to 9%. Some experts explained that increase to the people who weren’t looking for jobs now resuming their job-hunt.
In response to those numbers, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, said, “Our nation’s labor market registered encouraging job growth in the month of April.” She added: “April's broad-based job gains were the largest we have seen in 11 months. Our economy has now seen private sector job gains for 14 months running. During this period, we have added 2.1 million private sector jobs, including 760,000 in the last three months alone. We have crossed an important threshold by creating more than enough jobs in each of the last three months to outpace growth in the labor force and put unemployed Americans back to work.”
Solis and others believe the recovery is on track.
Consider this from Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the President’s The Council of Economic Advisers:
“Despite headwinds from high energy prices and disruptions from the disaster in Japan, the last three months of private job gains have been the strongest in five years.”
However, for those who are out of work, this level of recovery just isn’t enough.
As Heather Boushey, senior economist at the Center for American Progress, a non-partisan, Washington, D.C.-based research organization said: “While today’s job growth is an improvement, there is a large backlog of workers waiting in the unemployment queue as well as millions who have given up searching, but still want to work. We need to see job growth break above 300,000 and stay at that level for many months before the unemployment rate will begin to come back down.”