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Careers

Strong Job Gains Signal
Lower Unemployment Ahead

More of the jobless are looking again. By year-end, they should get better results.

We expect unemployment to hit 9.5% by year-end, and the April surge in payroll numbers -- a net increase of 290,000 jobs -- supports our conclusion. Not only did the monthly increase beat market expectations by 90,000, but aspects of the report also attest to more substantial gains ahead. First, Census-related hiring, at 66,000, was far more modest than expected. So far, Census hiring amounts to just 154,000 workers -- below the level at this point during the 2000 Census. Because the Commerce Department plans total Census hiring to be greater this decade than last, the sluggishness of hiring so far implies huge gains next month. We expect net job growth for the Census alone to be around 300,000 in May, with a total gain closer to 400,000.

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