Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama called the increase in jobs last month "very encouraging," Friday saying the numbers are "particularly heartening" in light of conditions last year when the economy was in "free fall."
A government report Friday said the economy added 290,000 jobs in April, up from a revised 230,000 jobs added in March.
"This is the largest monthly increase in four years and we created 121,000 more jobs in February and March than previously estimated. Which means we've now seen job growth for four months in a row," Obama said.
The report also includes a separate survey of households that the government uses to estimate the unemployment rate, which increased to 9.9
percent. Economists had forecast the rate would remain at the 9.7 percent rate reported for March.
"I should also note that the unemployment rate ticked up slightly from 9.7 to 9. 9. given the strength of the numbers it may seem contradictory and this is a reflection of the fact that workers who dropped out of the workforce entirely are now seeing jobs again and are now seeking jobs again, encouraged by better prospects," said the president.
He said the economic growth for the better part of a year is giving businesses "the confidence to expand and to hire new people."