It was expected to stay firm at 9.7%
, which was the rate for the first three months of this year. No such luck. The unemployment rate rose to 9.9% for the month of April, and that was before the economy was even able to respond to such crisis as the volatile stock market or Greek unrest.
Despite the dismal news, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed
that the economy added 290,000 jobs, with most coming from factories and government agencies. But the sheer number of people looking for work prevented the rate from improving, and indeed, made it even worse. Here's a brief explanation from the AP
For employers to boost hiring significantly, the economy would need to grow at an annual rate of 6 percent to 8 percent a quarter, rather than the 3.2 percent pace logged in the first three months of this year, economists say. Such growth would mean shoppers were spending much more freely.
...Many economists think it will take until at least the middle of the decade to lower the unemployment rate to a more normal 5.5 percent to 6 percent.