Best jobs report yet for Obama

April payrolls swell by a hefty 290,000. The unemployment rate also ticks up, but even that is a healthy sign


Andrew Leonard
May 7, 2010 4:57PM (UTC)

Good news on the jobs front: In its best showing in years, the U.S. economy added 290,000 jobs in April, considerably exceeding the consensus expectation of economists. Hiring for the U.S. census accounted for only 66,000 new jobs, so the underlying trend line, for now, is definitely pointed in the right direction.

The unemployment rate, however, rose from 9.7 percent to 9.9 percent. But even that jump can be seen as something of a hopeful sign, since it largely represents a sharp increase in the size of the overall labor force. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, encouraged by an improving economy, are looking for work again. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the size of the labor force grew by 805,000 in April.

Advertisement:

The total picture is by no means rosy, of course -- the U-6 measure of unemployment, which includes "all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons," notched up to an unacceptably high 17.1 percent. But for now, the Obama administration is likely feeling very pleased with itself. The jobs picture is clearly brightening.

(UPDATE: Kudos to Washington Monthly's Steve Benen, for being the first person I found to update the Obama vs. Bush jobs chart.)


Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

MORE FROM Andrew LeonardFOLLOW koxinga21LIKE Andrew Leonard

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

How The World Works Unemployment U.s. Economy

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •