- The Washington Times - Friday, May 8, 2009

The U.S. economy lost fewer jobs in April compared to the previous month, but the unemployment rate climbed to 8.9 percent, according to a Labor Department report Friday.

The economy lost 539,000 jobs in April, compared to 633,000 in March. The unemployment rate increased 0.4 percent, from 8.5 percent, in March.

The country has lost 5.7 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007.

The job losses last month were widespread across nearly all major private-sector industries, the report stated.

The number of unemployed workers increased by 563,000 to 13.7 million in April, which raised the unemployment rate. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed workers has increased by 6 million and the unemployment rate has grown by 3.9 percent.

Among the hardest hit unemployment last month were adult males and blacks, their rates increased by 9.4 percent and 15.0 percent, respectively.

The rates for other unemployed workers remained largely unchanged. The rate for adult females was 7.1 percent; teenagers, 21.5 percent; whites, 8.0 percent, and Hispanics, 11.3 percent.

The number of U.S. workers filing first-time unemployment claims last week was 601,000, roughly 34,000 less than in the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday.

However, continued unemployment is still increasing, with 6.35 million workers filing claims in the week ending April 25, which was 56,000 more than in the previous week.

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