Mixed economic news arrived Friday, showing that employers added more than 200,000 jobs last month, but the unemployment rate rose to 9 percent –partly because some people resumed their job search.
All told there were 13.7 million people unemployed in April, still almost double since before the recession began in December 2007.
Including part-time workers who would rather be working full time, plus people who have given up looking altogether, the percentage of “underemployed” people rose to 15.9 percent in April.
To calculate the unemployment rate, the government calls 60,000 households and asks people if they’re working or looking for a job. This survey includes the self-employed, farm workers and domestic help — people not counted in the payroll survey.
By contrast, the government surveys about 140,000 businesses and government agencies to determine the number of jobs added.
Most analysts agree the economy has strengthened enough to keep growing this year. And many say the factors that held back growth at the start of the year were most likely temporary. They predict growth will pick up over the rest of the year.