STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Thousands of Americans went back to work in April, as private companies added a slew of jobs to the economy. A good sign going forward indeed. But the nation’s unemployment rate was up slightly for the month, back to 9 percent. Why is one number really good, yet the jobless rate goes up?
Jill Schlesinger is editor-at-large at CBS/MoneyWatch. She’s with us — as she is every Friday — live from New York. Good morning Jill.
JILL SCHLESINGER: Good morning.
CHIOTAKIS: Nearly — all right — a quarter million jobs created this past month. Is is as good as that sounds?
SCHLESINGER: It sure is. I mean, 244,000 is great. We had a revisions upward for the previous two months, so now we’ve got about 190,000 jobs on average-per-month in this year. That’s great. I also want to note the private sector added 268,000 jobs. That’s the biggest job creation number since 2006 in the private sector.
CHIOTAKIS: But the unemployment rate — Jill. Why did the unemployment rate jump, what — two-tenths of a percent?
SCHLESINGER: This is vexing. But here’s the deal. When you have a lot of people who are looking for jobs, that’s when they’re counted in the unemployment rate. So when people just stop looking, they come out of the number. As more people go back into the labor force seeking employment, now they’re counted again. So in a weird way, it’s sort of a good sign because people are feeling better.
CHIOTAKIS: Good news that more American’s are feeling inspired to look for work.
SCHLESINGER: Absolutely. And look, this is what we need. We know that confidence is very important in this economy. This is a good report. Take it for what it is, combined with oil prices falling — this could be the best Friday we’ve had in a long time.
CHIOTAKIS: Well, we shall see. Jill Schlesinger from CBS/MoneyWatch joining us live from New York. Jill thank you.
SCHLESINGER: Great to be with you.
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