Although 290,000 new jobs were created last month, unemployment increased to 9.9% because of an increase in the size of the labor force, the Department of Labor reported today.
There were 15.3 million people unemployed in April. The civilian labor pool increased by 805,000, or 0.3%. The unemployment rate had been 9.7% during the first three months of 2010.
The department said the unemployment rate would have been even higher if it had included the 2.4 million people it describes as "marginally attached" to the labor force, compared with 2.1 million in April 2009. These are individuals who wanted to work and were available and had searched for a job within the last year, but not within the past four weeks.
The number of persons unemployed for 27 weeks or more increased to 6.7 million, from 6.5 million in March.
Average hourly earnings grew by 1 cent. Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings increased 1.6%.
Employment rose in manufacturing, mining, construction, professional/business services, health care and in the federal government.
Employment was mostly unchanged in wholesale trade, retail trade, information and financial activities.
Employment fell in the transportation/warehousing sector.