BLS data from March and April are preliminary and may be considerably revised in the coming months.
The healthcare sector continues to be one of the few areas of job growth in the sputtering economy. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, healthcare employment has grown by 931,000 jobs, while total nonfarm employment has fallen by about 7.2 million, BLS data show.
The larger U.S. economy gained 244,000 jobs in April but the nation's jobless rate edged up to 9%, up from 8.8% in March, with 13.7 million people unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed -- people jobless for 27 weeks or longer – was 5.8 million in April, a decrease of 280,000 from March, and their ranks decreased from 43.9% to 43.4% of the unemployed, BLS preliminary data show.