US unemployment rises but more jobs created

Image caption,
More people began looking for work in April

The US unemployment rate rose in April, even though more jobs were created than in any month in the past four years.

The jobless rate increased to 9.9%, up from 9.7% in March.

However, an extra 290,000 jobs were created in April, mainly in manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality, the Labor Department said.

The reason that overall unemployment rose was because more people started looking for work, boosting the size of the labour force.

The total number of people unemployed in April was 15.3 million.

'Employment growth'

The government hired 66,000 extra workers during April to help conduct the 2010 Census, which helped to boost the jobs total.

The manufacturing sector employed an additional 44,000 workers, while the leisure and hospitality industry took on 45,000 workers.

The Labor Department also revised up its new job figures for February and March.

"I think we are moving into this very reassuring range of strong employment growth. It is consistent with the way the economy is going," said Kurt Kar at Swiss Re in New York.

President Barack Obama has declared that job creation would be his top priority for 2010.

However, analysts expect US unemployment to remain high for the rest of the year as the economy continues to recover from a long recession, during which millions of Americans lost their jobs.

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