Americans are moving back into the job market as the economy slowly improves, the Labor Department said on May 7, as it reported that 290,000 jobs were created in April.
It was the largest number of jobs added to the labor force since March 2006. Since January of this year there has been a gain of 573,000 jobs.
Manufacturing added 44,000 jobs in April.
Since December, factory employment has risen by 101,000. Over the month, gains occurred in several durable goods industries, including fabricated metals (9,000) and machinery (7,000). Employment also grew in nondurable goods manufacturing (14,000).
In April, the number of unemployed persons was 15.3 million, and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.9%. The rate had been 9.7% for the first 3 months of this year.