Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press 
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

                         Statement of

                          Keith Hall
                  Bureau of Labor Statistics

                          before the
                   Joint Economic Committee
                    UNITED STATES CONGRESS

                     Friday, May 7, 2010

Madam Chair and Members of the Committee:

      Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the employment 
and unemployment data we released this morning.
      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 290,000 in April.  The 
unemployment rate edged up to 9.9 percent, and the labor force 
increased sharply.  Job growth was fairly widespread, with 
gains in manufacturing, professional and business services, 
health care, and leisure and hospitality.  Federal government 
employment increased, with the addition of 66,000 short-term 
workers for Census 2010.  Nonfarm employment has risen by 
573,000 since December, with 483,000 jobs added in the private 
      Manufacturing continued to add jobs in April (44,000).  
Employment in this industry has increased by 101,000 since 
December.  Three industries--fabricated metal products, 
machinery, and primary metals--have accounted for more than 
half of factory job gains so far this year.  
      Elsewhere in the goods-producing sector, mining 
employment continued to trend up over the month (7,000); the 
industry has added 39,000 jobs since October.  In 
construction, nonresidential building and heavy construction 
each added 9,000 jobs in April.  
      Employment in professional and business services rose by 
80,000 over the month.  Within the industry, job growth 
continued in temporary help services (26,000), where 
employment has increased by 330,000 since September.  
Employment also rose in services to buildings and dwellings 
(23,000) and in computer systems design (7,000) in April.
      Health care added 20,000 jobs over the month, in line 
with average monthly growth over the prior 12 months.  
Employment also continued to grow in leisure and hospitality 
(45,000).  The industry has added 121,000 jobs since December, 
led by gains in food services. 
      Federal government employment rose in April, reflecting 
the hiring of 66,000 temporary workers for Census 2010.  
Employment in state and local governments was essentially 
      Within transportation, employment fell in courier and 
messenger services (-21,000).  Other major industries showed 
little change in employment.
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private 
nonfarm payrolls were up 1 cent in April to $22.47.  Over the 
past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.6 
percent.  From March 2009 to March 2010, the Consumer Price 
Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose by 2.4 percent.
      Turning now to measures from the survey of households, 
the unemployment rate edged up to 9.9 percent in April, and 
the number of unemployed persons was 15.3 million.  Over the 
month, the number of unemployed who were reentrants to the 
labor force rose to 3.7 million.
      In April, 6.7 million people had been jobless for 27 
weeks or more.  These long-term unemployed made up 45.9 
percent of all unemployed persons, a record high.
      The labor force increased by 805,000 in April.  The labor 
force participation rate--the percent of the population 
working or looking for work--rose by 0.3 percentage point to 
65.2 percent and has increased by 0.6 percentage point since 
December.  The employment-population ratio increased to 58.8 
percent in April and also has risen by 0.6 percentage point 
since December.  Among the employed, there were 9.2 million 
individuals working part time in April who preferred full-time 
work, about the same as in March.
      In summary, employment rose by 290,000 in April, with 
gains in several major industries.  The unemployment rate 
edged up to 9.9 percent.
      My colleagues and I now would be glad to answer your 

Last Modified Date: May 07, 2010