April was an odd month in terms of unemployment reports. Weekly first-time jobless claims ticked up above 400,000 again, causing concern about both the economic recovery and the overall unemployment data for the month. The official unemployment rate rose to 9.0 percent in April 2011 but 244,000 new jobs were created, which came as a bit of a surprise to many.

Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis commented on the job growth in a Friday morning press release:

"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.”

New jobs were created in several industries, including:

  • Retail trade (+57,000 jobs)
  • Management and technical consulting services (+11,000)
  • Health care (+37,000)
  • Leisure and hospitality (+46,000)
  • Mining (+11,000)
While the overall unemployment rate for the month was 9.0 percent, some populations are doing better and others are doing worse. The unemployment rate among adult women is only 7.9 percent but 24.9 percent of teenagers are unemployed. The unemployment rate for teens is not a surprise considering a recent study that predicts only one in four teens will land a summer job this year.

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