US unemployment rises to nine percent

May 7th, 2011 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 7 (IANS/EFE) Despite a net gain of 244,000 jobs last month, the US unemployment rate climbed from 8.8 percent to 9 percent, the labour department said Friday.

The number of new jobs created beat the consensus of economists’ forecasts by 40,000.

The Labour Department also released a revised figure for job gains in March, boosting its estimate from 216,000 to 221,000.

April was the third consecutive month in which the US economy added jobs.

The private sector created 268,000 new positions last month, its best performance since February 2006, while state and local governments laid off 24,000 workers amid ongoing austerity measures.

Analysts attribute the rise in the unemployment rate to the return to the employment market of jobseekers who had stopped looking.

Those discouraged workers have been drawn back into the hunt by the recent spurt in job creation, according to the analysts.

Upwards of 43 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for more than six months, the labour department said in its report.

–IANS/EFE
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