BLS: 244,000 Jobs Added In April

The economy added nearly a quarter million jobs in the month of April, but the employment rate rose to 9 percent, up .2 percent from March, the bureau of labor statistics said today.

That’s partially because as people believe the economy is improving, they restart dormant job searches. Workers are not officially counted as unemployed unless they had searched for work in the four weeks leading up to when the survey is done.

However, that’s still the 7th straight month in which jobs were added rather than shed.

There were 13.7 million officially unemployed people in April, plus another 8.6 million people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job.

Add that to 2.5 million people who wanted to work but weren’t looking for jobs, either because of family or school responsibilities or because (in the case of 989,000 of them) they believed there were no jobs available.

The number of long-term unemployed–those who had been out of work for 27 weeks or more–declined last month by 283,000 to 5.8 million. This number has been on a (very) gradual downward slide since peaking at a high of 6.7 million in May 2010.

Industries that made gains included retail, consulting services, healthcare, and hospitality, especially restaurants.