UPDATED BELOW (Now with more political talking points!)
The U.S. economy added 244,000 jobs in April, far more than had been expected, but the gains weren’t enough to keep the unemployment rate from ticking up two-tenths of a point to 9 percent.
We’ll let you guess which part of that made headlines on The Drudge Report Friday morning. (OK, you took too long. The answer: “UNEMPLOYMENT BACK UP TO 9.0%”.)
Continuing a recent trend, the increase came exclusively from the private sector, which added 268,000 jobs last month on top of 231,000 in March. Governments at all levels, meanwhile, cut 24,000 jobs in April, mostly at the local level, according to the monthly numbers unveiled Friday.
According to the New York Times, “the uptick in the unemployment rate that came even as employers were adding jobs was an indication that more people were entering the work force as hopes for hiring increased.”
A Bloomberg survey of analysts had predicted the economy would add roughly 200,000 jobs in April.
Updated at 2:50 p.m.:
Republican White House hopefuls – likely happy to steer the conversation away from Obama’s ongoing Bin Laden victory lap – were quick to dust off their favorite talking points on the economy. Politico rounded up a few of the statements.
Mitt Romney in a statement: “Today's disheartening unemployment increase is another reminder of the failure of President Obama's economic policies. The cost of the President's inexperience and failed liberal policies is borne by families across the country. To get people back to work will take experienced economic leadership, a commitment to rein in government, and a credible plan to make America the best place in the world for growth and jobs."
Newt Gingrich on Facebook: "While any job creation is good news, the mixed results of today's jobs report is further proof that America needs a profound change of course in its economic policies. We are still far off from where we need to be in job creation. America can't wait any longer."
Michelle Bachmann on Facebook: "With unemployment increasing yet again to 9% last month, Americans are growing tired of the consequences of the Obama economic agenda."