The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its monthly employment report, finding that in the month of April, the economy created 290,000 jobs, including 231,000 in the private sector, the largest number of new jobs in four years. 

The report found that 573,000 jobs have been created since December, including 483,000 in the private sector; jobs have now been created in five of the last six months. In addition, 44,000 manufacturing jobs were created in April, the largest increase since 1998.

However, the unemployment rate rose slightly to 9.9 percent from 9.7 percent as a result of 805,000 more people entering the workforce, due to growing optimism.

The increase in employment was broad based.  In addition to manufacturing gains, construction was up 14,000, wholesale and retail trade was up over 16,000, professional and business services was up 80,000, education and health services was up 35,000, and leisure and hospitality was up 45,000.  The 26,200 employment increase in temporary help services is the smallest since September 2009, suggesting that job creation could be shifting toward more permanent jobs.

The BLS also revised upward its March job numbers to 230,000 jobs created (from the 162,000 originally reported). The February numbers were also revised up to +39,000 (from -14,000).

“Today’s report offers us encouraging news — for the fourth consecutive month the economy has created jobs proving that we have indeed turned the corner toward real job growth,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin, D-Mich., in a statement. “It is especially noteworthy that the manufacturing sector created 44,000 jobs last month, the highest in over a decade. However, while we have made progress, there is a significant amount of work left for us to do to address the 15 million Americans who remain unemployed.”

His committee is  working to pass legislation this month to extend unemployment benefits and health assistance for unemployed workers and to stimulate further job creation through tax incentives for businesses and infrastructure financing for state and local governments.

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