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Unemployment Rate Bumps Up To 9 Percent; 244,000 Jobs Added

While more jobs than expected were added to payrolls last month — 244,000 — the nation's jobless rate went up to 9 percent from 8.8 percent in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported. Economists had thought there was about a 185,000-gain in jobs last month, Bloomberg News says.

According to BLS, private-sector employment grew by 268,000 jobs — much more than had been expected. Government payrolls shrank by 24,000.

It's often the case that as the economy gains strength and employment begins to go up, the jobless rate remains high or even rises a bit as more people begin to look for work and get counted as part of the labor force (even though they haven't yet found work).

Our friends at Planet Money make sense of this kind of news.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.