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Civilian labor force participation rate up in April
May '09
Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in April (-539,000), and the unemployment rate rose from 8.5 to 8.9 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. Since the recession began in December 2007, 5.7 million jobs have been lost. In April, job losses were large and widespread across nearly all major private-sector industries. Overall, private-sector employment fell by 611,000.

Unemployment (Household Survey Data)
The number of unemployed persons increased by 563,000 to 13.7 million in April, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 6.0 million, and the unemployment
rate has grown by 3.9 percentage points.

Unemployment rates rose in April for adult men (9.4 percent) and blacks (15.0 percent). The jobless rates for adult women (7.1 percent), teenagers (21.5 percent), whites (8.0 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent) were little changed over the month. The unemployment rate for Asians was 6.6 percent in April, not seasonally adjusted, up from 3.2 percent a year earlier.

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs rose by 571,000 in April to 8.8 million. This group has more than doubled in size over the past 12 months.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 498,000 to 3.7 million over the month and has risen by 2.4 mil- lion since the start of the recession in December 2007.

Total Employment and the Labor Force (Household Survey Data)
The civilian labor force participation rate rose in April to 65.8 percent, and the employment-population ratio was unchanged at 59.9 percent. The employment-population ratios for adult men and women showed little or no change over the month. However, since December 2007, the men's ratio was down by 4.4 percentage points, while the women's ratio was down by 1.3 percentage points.

In April, the number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially un- changed at 8.9 million; however, the number of such workers has risen by 3.7 million over the past 12 months.

Persons Not in the Labor Force (Household Survey Data)
About 2.1 million persons (not seasonally adjusted) were marginally attached to the labor force in April, 675,000 more than a year earlier. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 740,000 discouraged workers in April, up by 328,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The other 1.4 million per- sons marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

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