Unemployment at 9.9 Percent — 290,000 Jobs Added

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The national unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent, up from 9.7 percent last month. But the economy added 290,000 jobs (only 60,000 of which were census workers!). This is seen as a marker of a continuing (but slow) economic recovery; the reason why there are simultaneously more jobs and higher employment is that more people are feeling encouraged to look for jobs. (The unemployment rate can be misleading when many American workers have just given up.) More than 15.3 million people were unemployed last month. [NYT]