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WASHINGTON (AP) — More confident employers stepped up job creation in April, expanding payrolls by 290,000, the most in four years. The jobless rate rose to 9.9 percent as people streamed back into the market looking for work.
The hiring of 66,000 temporary government workers to conduct the census helped overall payroll growth last month. However, private employers — the backbone of the economy — boosted jobs, too. They added a surprisingly strong 231,000 positions last month, also the most since March 2006, the Labor Department reported Friday.
"Clearly companies have a newfound confidence in the future of the economic recovery and on the part of their own business prospects," said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. "The broadbased job gains are an indication that businesses are feeling more comfortable about expanding their work forces," he said.
The unemployment rate rose from 9.7 percent in March to 9.9 percent in April, mainly because 805,000 jobseekers — perhaps feeling better about their prospects — resumed their searches for work.
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