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244,000 New Jobs in the US, Unemployment Rises to 9% - April 2011

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Last week brought some welcome positive news for the US economy, after a U.S jobs report showed that 244,000 jobs were added in April. Coupled with a fall in the Euro (due in part to reports posted in the German newpaper ‘Der Spiegel’, regarding the possibility of the Greek government leaving the Euro currency), this has resulted in an upturn in the strength of the dollar after a long period of decline. These encouraging employment figures for April reflect the third consecutive month to see an average of over 200,000 new positions created in the US economy.

However, the figures released this week may also be slightly misleading in terms of presenting a positive outlook for the economy – the unemployment rate in the U.S rose from 8.8 percent in March, to 9.0 percent in April, the first increase since last November. Other reports portray signs of an economy that is stagnating, such as a weakening gross domestic product, slowing growth in the manufacturing sector, and a spike in claims for unemployment insurance. In addition to this, many economists say, the nation may not be adding a broad enough range of the kinds of high-wage jobs needed to solidify economic recovery.

A breakdown of new jobs by industry would appear to back these claims – the biggest industry increase in April was in the retail sector, consistently one of the biggest winners during the recession. However, the average hourly wage in this sector in 2010 was just $9.03 – market trends show that the labor market is still struggling in other areas, particularly in the creation of high-wage positions in key sectors.

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This article was written by Chris Storey, Marketing Assistant at the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com 

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