U.S. job growth accelerated last month as the economy added 244,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate rose to 9 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday morning.
The report easily bested analysts' expectations for a decidedly mediocre jobs report and marked the fastest rate of job growth since last year when census hiring inflated numbers. Private sector job growth clocked in at 268,000, their highest level since 2006. The public sector continued to lose employment, shedding 24,000 jobs in April.
Though Friday's numbers certainly mark an improvement over previous reports, it's important to note that even at the pace of this report, it will take another 2.5 years before the economy reaches pre-recession employment levels. How long after that it would take to catch up to the additional need for jobs due to population growth depends on how many people rejoin the labor force. Without question, it would be many more months.
The Labor Department also revised upward its job growth figures for February and March. March's increase was changed to 221,000 from 216,000. February's were raised to 235,000 from 194,000 jobs added.
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