By Thomas Ahearn, ESR Staff Writer

In yet another possible sign that the “Great Recession” may be ending and that the “Great Recovery” has begun, U.S. employers added significantly more jobs to payrolls in April, the largest number of jobs added to the labor force since March 2006. The economy has now added jobs in five of the last six months following nearly two years of job losses.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) April 2010 Employment Situation report, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 290,000 in the month, with the job gains occurring in manufacturing, professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality. Overall, there has been a gain of 573,000 jobs since the start of the year.

  • Manufacturing added 44,000 jobs in April, the biggest one-month gain in the sector since August 1998, and factory employment has risen by 101,000 jobs since December 2009.
  • Professional and business services employment rose by 80,000 jobs in April, and employment in this industry has increased by 330,000 jobs since September 2009.
  • Health care employment grew by 20,000 jobs in April, including 6,000 in hospital jobs. Over the past year, health care employment has increased by 244,000 jobs.
  • Leisure and hospitality employment rose by 45,000 jobs over the month, much of this increase occurring in accommodation and food services, which added 29,000 jobs. Food services employment has risen by 84,000 over the past 4 months.
  • Federal government employment also rose in April, reflecting the hiring of 66,000 temporary workers for the once-in-a-decade 2010 census.

Despite the sharp increase in the labor force, the unemployment rate edged up to 9.9 percent, up from 9.7 percent, and the number of unemployed persons rose to 15.3 million from 15.0 million. However, according to the BLS report, the rise in the unemployment rate was due to a higher number of job seekers “ an increase of 805,000 in April alone who had previously been discouraged and dropped out of the job market but are now looking for work again.

With more employment and more people looking for employment, there is a need for more employment screening. For information on an effective employment screening program, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at