Unemployment now at 9.9 percent

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The unemployment rate inched up to 9.9 percent in April, though 290,000 jobs were created, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The unemployment rate had stood at 9.7 percent for the first three months of the year.

Job gains occurred in manufacturing, professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality. Federal government employment also rose, reflecting continued hiring of temporary workers for Census 2010.

In April, there were 15.3 million unemployed people in the United States, the bureau said.

The number of long-term unemployed - those jobless for 27 weeks or more - continued to trend up over the month, reaching 6.7 million. In April, 45.9 percent of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.

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