In a sign of a continuing, if weak recovery, the US economy added 244,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department announced today.
This number easily beat the median forecast of economists, which was 185,000.
Non-governmental jobs were added at the fastest rate in five years leading to the hope that the economic recovery might finally be self-sustaining.
Household spending accounts for 70% of the economy, so greater employment numbers may help to overcome high and rising gasoline prices.
Breaking down the major number, non-government hiring rose by 268,000 in April, following an upwardly revised 231,000 in March (from 216,000) and 235,000 in February (from 194,000).
Today’s report also showed a decrease in the long-term unemployment. The number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more fell to 43.4 percent of all job-seekers from 45.5 percent a month earlier.
The undeeremployment numbers however, showed a slight decline, with those seeking a full-time position while working part-time rising to 15.9% from 15.7%.
As of 11am ET, the stock market appears to be rallying, putting on 136 points or just over 1%.