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Time for a little good news, (sort of) bad news regarding jobs and unemployment.

First, let’s get the bad news over with. The Washington Post reported that unemployment rose from 9.7 to 9.9 percent in April, mainly due to 800,000 workers re-entering the job market. According to the article, workers are only counted as “unemployed” if they don’t have a job and are looking for one, so those who gave up the search for awhile were considered “discouraged,” not unemployed. So although increasing unemployment rates are generally bad, this is only “sort of” bad news because it is a sign that workers are becoming less “discouraged” and more optimistic about the job opportunities available.

And now for the good news – 290,000 new jobs were created in April. According to online recruiting community www.ere.net this was much better job creation than economists had predicted. They were also surprised that a majority of those jobs were in the private sector because most expected any major job spike to come from the temporary census jobs being created by the government. As it turns out, only 66,000 of the new jobs were census workers, far below the 100,000 expected.

Manufacturing accounted for 44,000 new jobs, while the professional and business employed 80,000 as accountants, managers, clerks, engineers, human resources personnel, and other positions.

Let’s hope that this is a sign of more direct and contract placements to come!

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