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US unemployment rises despite job creation

US unemployment rate increased last month even though there was a rise in the number of people finding work, new government figures show.

Last month saw non-farm payroll employment increase by 244,000, with major job gains occurring in several service-providing sectors, manufacturing and mining, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

However, the country’s unemployment rate rose from 8.8 per cent to 9 per cent to reach about 13.7m, which is partially explained by some people resuming their search for work over the month.

Under the bureau’s method of presenting employment statistics, people can be classed as ’marginally attached’ to the workforce or ’discouraged’ rather than unemployed if they have not searched for work in the last four weeks.

Retail created 57,000 jobs last month, while employment in the professional and business services sectors rose by 51,000. Heathcare added 37,000 jobs and 46,000 people found work in the leisure and hospitality industry.

Employment in manufacturing increased by 29,000 and mining rose by 11,000, with more than half of these being created in support activities for mining.

IT, financial services, transportation and warehousing, and construction saw their employment levels remain broadly the same in April, while both state and local government were hit by another month of job losses.

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