The U.S. economy added 244,000 jobs in April and the nation's unemployment rate edged up to 9 percent as more people actively looked for work.
A total of 13.7 million people were unemployed in April, a figure that changed little from the previous month, when the jobless rate was 8.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The economy added jobs in several service industries, and in manufacturing and mining. There were gains in the retail sector, professional and business services, health care and the leisure and hospitality field.
The number of people unemployed for fewer than five weeks rose by 242,000 in April. The number of long-term jobless - people unemployed for 27 weeks or longer - declined by 283,000, to 5.8 million.
In April, 2.5 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as a year earlier. These people were not in the labor force, 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 four weeks that preceded the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 989,000 discouraged workers in April, a decline of 208,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are people who are not looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.