The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 244,000 jobs in April, but at the same time the unemployment rate rose from 8.8 percent to 9 percent.
David Leonhardt at The New York Times considers the "more right" picture to be the jobs report, calling the unemployment rise "a kind of statistical catchup."
The professional and business services category added 51,000 jobs, with 11,000 added in management and technical consulting services, and 8,000 in computer systems design and related services. Employment in temp agencies remained flat, following an increase of 34,000 in March.
Manufacturing was a bright spot in the report, adding 29,000 more workers. Makers of computer and electronic products added 4,000 jobs. Factory payrolls have risen by 250,000 since December 2009, the Labor Department says.
I've written about the skills disconnect with the next generation in manufacturing and this Wall Street Journal article expands on that. I especially liked this quote from Denis Gimbel, human resources manager at Lehigh Heavy Forge Corp. of Bethlehem, Pa., whose products include parts for ships.:
We get people coming in here all the time who say, 'I can weld.' Well, my grandmother could weld.
The story says he's looking instead for people who understand the intricacies of $1 million lathes and other metal-shaping equipment.
While this New York Times story quotes experts wondering whether the hiring momentum will last in the overall market, the National Federation of Independent Businesses calls hiring among small businesses "inconsistent and disappointing." But Colin Barr at Fortune argues that companies will have to hire. Productivity growth is slowing as companies emerge from the recession - and essentially they've squeezed all they can out of the people they lave left.