Jobs Numbers Improved With 290,000 New Jobs

The economy still has problems but the jobs numbers were better than predicted with 290,000 new jobs:

Despite growing unease in the financial markets, the American economy is gathering steam, adding an unexpectedly large number of jobs last month.

The Labor Department’s monthly snapshot of the job market, released on Friday, showed that employers added 290,000 jobs in April, the largest gain in four years, and that they did so across a broad swath of industries. The United States has now added jobs for four straight months.

The unemployment rate, however, crept up to 9.9 percent from 9.7 percent in March, mostly because of a significant increase in the number of people who had previously given up deciding to look for work again…

“I think at this point the U.S. economy has a very good chance of being able to continue its recovery despite the uncertainty in Europe,” said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group. “But the threat is real, and we have to be vigilant and very nimble.”

President Obama called April’s job report “particularly heartening.” He noted that “this week’s job numbers come as a relief to Americans who’ve found a job, but it offers, obviously, little comfort to those who are still out of work.”

All manner of businesses were hiring, including those in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality and health care. One of the strongest gains occurred in manufacturing, which added 44,000 jobs, the largest increase since 1998.

Steve Benen has updated his bikini graph showing the differences under Bush and Obama, adding the new numbers and updating the graph due to include revised numbers for earlier in the year.