The U.S. unemployment rate has increased to 9.9 percent despite reports of an increase of more than a quarter million jobs in April.
The U.S. Department of Labor documented a higher percentage of unemployment, which it said likely stems from more Americans looking for work in the month of April. When the unemployed aren’t looking for employment, they aren’t counted in the official unemployment tally.
While the unemployment rate rose, Americans also picked up 290,000 jobs last month, according to a survey of US employers. Many are touting the new jobs, roughly 100,000 more than expected, as good news for the American economy.
"This is a remarkable change from when the administration took office," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in a statement.
“Today's numbers indicate that the steps this administration has taken over the past year are putting the American economy on the right track. The progress we have made would not have been possible without the job creation policies enacted by Congress and the administration,” said Solis.
At the same time in 2009, the Department of Labor recorded an entirely different situation. The country was in the midst of the worst economic situation since the Great Depression.
“In April of 2009, we lost 528,000 jobs,” said Solis.
But now, the official says things are looking up.
“Our economy has added jobs in five of the last six months, and we are seeing growth in a broad range of industries including health care, manufacturing, professional and business services, and construction,” she said.
The Department of Labor attests that the increase in job acquisitions by Americans is partially due to the recent passing of the Recovery Act and Hire Act, which President Obama signed in March. The Hire Act was designed to create tax breaks for small business that need more employees, but are struggling. The Act included a $17.5 billion incentive, including a $1,000 employer tax credit for hiring a new worker, along with tax breaks on purchases of new equipment.