FILE - In his March 1, 2011 file photo, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tetsifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Banking Committee. The United States has never defaulted on its debt and leaders from both parties say they don’t want it to happen now. But with partisan acrimony running at fever pitch, and Democrats and Republicans far apart on how to tame the deficit, anything could happen. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) (AP)

U.S. adds jobs, but unemployment up to 9 percent

268,000 new jobs were created last month -- a far higher number than most had been expecting

Jeannine Aversa
May 6, 2011 5:52PM (UTC)

Employers added more than 200,000 jobs in April for the third straight month, the biggest hiring spree in five years. But the unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in part because some people resumed looking for work.

The Labor Department says the economy added 244,000 jobs last month. Private employers shrugged off high gas prices and created 268,000 jobs -- the most since February 2006.


The gains were widespread. Retailers, factories, financial companies, education and health care and even construction companies all added jobs. Federal, state and local governments cut jobs.

The data suggests businesses are confidence in the economy despite weak growth earlier this year.

Still, unemployment increased slightly from the 8.8 percent in March. It was the first increase since November.

Jeannine Aversa

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