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May 05, 2011

US Adds More Jobs Than Expected

by Kent Klein

President Barack Obama says the U.S. economy is recovering, after the nation added more jobs than expected in April.

The government jobs report released Friday shows a net gain of 244,000 jobs in the United States last month, better than economists had predicted.

President Obama told factory workers in Indianapolis, Indiana the U.S. private sector has gained jobs every month for more than a year.

"That means over the last 14 months -- in just a little bit over a year -- we have added more than two million jobs in the private sector,"  the president said.

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The unemployment rate edged higher, from 8.8 percent in March to 9.0 percent in April, largely because people who had given up looking for work were resuming their job search.

The president said the economy is moving in the right direction, despite what he called strong headwinds such as rising gasoline prices.

"We have got high gas prices that have been eating away at your paychecks, and that is a headwind that we have got to confront," he said. "You have got the earthquake in Japan that has had an effect on manufacturing here."

Mr. Obama said there will always be ups and downs as the country comes out of a recession, but he said he remains encouraged about America’s economic future.

"But the fact is that we are still making progress.  And that proves how resilient the American economy is, and how resilient the American worker is, and that we can take a hit and we can keep on going forward. That is exactly what we are doing," he said.

Not counting job cuts by local, state and federal governments, the U.S. economy generated 268,000 new jobs in April, the most since February 2006.

It was the third straight month that more than 200,000 jobs were created.  And the job gains in February and March were revised upward.

However, 13.7 million Americans were still out of work last month, almost double the number in 2007, before the recession started.

Overall, though, the jobs figures indicate that businesses are confident in the economy and willing to hire, despite slow growth early in the year and the steep rise in energy costs.