May 6 (Bloomberg) -- Austan Goolsbee, the White House’s chief economist, said April’s payroll report shows U.S. job creation is on the rise even as the economy is being buffeted by high energy prices and disruptions from the nuclear disaster in Japan.
“The overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years, but there will surely be bumps in the road ahead,” Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement on the White House website.
U.S. payrolls increased by 244,000 workers in April, the biggest gain since May 2010, the Labor Department said today. Economists had projected an April rise of 185,000, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The unemployment rate rose to 9 percent, from 8.8 percent in March, the first increase since November.
Private hiring, which excludes government agencies, rose by 268,000 in April, exceeding the 200,000 median forecast in the Bloomberg survey of 86 economists. The unemployment rate rose to 9 percent, from 8.8 percent in March, the first increase since November.
Goolsbee said initiatives undertaken by the administration, including a temporary payroll tax cut and incentives for businesses, “are creating the conditions for companies to add new jobs.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican who is taking part in deficit negotiations with the administration, said in a statement that while today’s report is “good news,” it makes the case against higher taxes or more government regulation.
“It is clear that far too many people remain out of work, which is why House Republicans are squarely focused on making Washington a partner to job creators rather than a barrier by pursuing pro-growth measures,” Cantor said in the statement.
Concern that higher fuel prices would slow economic recovery have eased with today’s report. The national average unleaded gasoline price fell to $3.984 per gallon yesterday, according to AAA, the nation’s biggest motoring organization. Food costs rose 0.8 percent in March, also the most since July 2008, consumer-price index data from the Labor Department showed last month.
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