The U.S. Department of Labor has released the official April 2010 unemployment figures. During the month 290,000 new jobs were added but the unemployment rate rose slightly to 9.9 percent. This is the first time that the unemployment rate has changed in a month-to-month period since the start of 2010; unfortunately it was a change in the wrong direction. January, February, and March unemployment rates were all stead at 9.7 percent.
The manufacturing sector saw an increase of 44,000 jobs during April, bringing the total job growth in the industry to 101,000 new jobs since December 2009. Mining is also up with a modest increase of 7,000 jobs since April and 39,000 since last fall.
The construction industry is starting to feel a slow recovery, as well. There were 14,000 new construction jobs added in April, down from the 26,000 new jobs the industry saw in March. The professional and business services sector saw a big jump in employment with 80,000 jobs added in April. The bulk of these were in temporary help – 26,000 jobs.
Other industries that saw growth during April include health care (20,000 new jobs), leisure and hospitality (45,000 new jobs), and the federal government (66,000 new Census 2010 workers).
The April 2010 Employment Situation Summary also included revised figures for February and March. February nonfarm payroll employment was revised upwards from 14,000 jobs lost to 39,000 jobs gained. March 2010 nonfarm payroll employment was revised from 162,000 new jobs to 230,000 new jobs.
Although new jobs were added during the month, the increased unemployment rate will be disheartening to some, especially those that have been looking for work for an extended period of time. While there are 15.3 million Americans out of work, 6.7 million of these have been jobless for six months or longer.