Jobs up 290,000; jobless rate rises to 9.9 pct.

Jobs up 290,000, but jobless rate rises.

Seems employers have expanded their employee rolls by some 290 thousand, but at the same time the jobless rate rose to an average 9.9 percent nationwide.

“Clearly companies have a new found confidence in the future of the economic recovery and on the part of their own business prospects,” said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. “The broad based job gains are an indication that businesses are feeling more comfortable about expanding their work forces,” he said.

66,000 of those new hires were government employees hired on a temporary basis to serve as census workers for the 2010 census.  Private employers added a surprising 231,000 positions last month, also the most since March 2006, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Job gains in April consisted of manufacturers, construction companies, retailers, professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government. Among the weak spots: transportation and warehousing, and information companies, which all cut jobs last month.

Economists think that it will take until at least the middle of the decade to lower the unemployment rate to a more normal 5.5 percent to 6 percent.

But don’t expect this report to sprout an increase in retail sells, because the still high unemployment and sluggish wage gains will prevent consumers from going on spending sprees any time soon. Small businesses, which usually help drive job creation during recoveries, are having trouble getting loans. That tight credit is crimping their ability to expand operations and hire.

(Statistics provided By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer)