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.
London, England (CNN) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Friday he was willing to forge an alliance with the minority Liberal Democrat party to stay in office after his Labour party won fewer seats than rival Conservatives in a fiercely fought general election.
With no party securing an outright majority in the vote, both the Labour and the center-right Conservatives of David Cameron are looking to centrist Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to help them form a working government.
Cameron offered to explore common policy ground with the Liberal Democrats, including their key demand of election reform, saying a unity of the two parties was the "basis for a strong government."
Brown said Friday he would be willing to negotiate with any party leader, but said the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were "entitled to take as much time as they feel necessary" to forge a coalition.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - In another sign that the recovery in the U.S. economy is taking hold, employers added significantly more jobs to payrolls in April, according to a government report released Friday.
There was a gain of 290,000 jobs in the month, up from a revised 230,000 jobs added in March. It was the largest number of jobs added to the labor force since March 2006.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a gain of 187,000 jobs.
With upward revisions for both March and February, there has been a gain of 573,000 jobs since the start of the year. After nearly two years of job losses, the economy has now added jobs in five of the last six months.
The report also includes a separate survey of households that it uses to estimate the unemployment rate, which increased to 9.9%. Economists had forecast the rate would remain at the 9.7% rate reported for March.
The increase was due to people who had previously been discouraged returning to the job search. So the rise in the unemployment rate is actually a sign of improving perception of labor market conditions by job seekers. The number of discouraged workers, or people who want a job but are not counted in the labor force has now dropped by 355,000 since December.
Washington (CNN) - Gov. Charlie Crist leads in a hypothetical three-way race for Senate in Florida, a week after he decided to leave the Republican primary and run as an independent.
Crist enjoys a six point advantage over Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek in a new Mason-Dixon poll of 625 registered voters surveyed by telephone.
Crist captures 38 percent in the new poll, followed by Rubio with 32 percent and Meek with 19 percent.
Crist announced last week that he would run for Senate as an independent candidate, sidestepping a primary showdown with Rubio. The survey shows that Crist enjoys double-digit support from Democrats.
(CNN) - As the voice of opposition to Arizona's controversial immigration law gets louder, the state's reputation can expect to take a hit.
Critics of the law are calling for economic boycotts of Arizona, urging corporations and organizations to refrain from holding conventions in the state.
They're also pressuring Major League Baseball to take its 2011 All-Star Game elsewhere, much like the National Football League did in 1993 when Arizona refused to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday.
While Arizona can ride out the backlash in the short term, the impact could hit hard later on, said Brayden King, assistant professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
"The reputational consequences will have long-term economic consequences if it's not resolved," King said.
Washington (CNN) - The U.S. economy added 290,000 jobs in April - more than economists expected - but the unemployment rate went up to 9.9 percent, the federal government said Friday.
"Job gains occurred in manufacturing, professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality," the Labor Department said. "Federal government employment also rose, reflecting continued hiring of temporary workers for Census 2010."
The nation's unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in January, February and March.
Washington (CNN) - Sarah Palin broke ranks with the conservative movement on Thursday and endorsed former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in California's Republican Senate primary, prompting a flurry of criticism from many of her loyal supporters.
After Palin announced the endorsement on her Facebook page, a number of her followers questioned why she would side with Fiorina instead of the more conservative candidate in the race, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.
DeVore has the backing of several leading voices in the conservative movement, including Sen. Jim DeMint, RedState.com editor Erick Erickson and the Tea Party Express.
Though a handful of readers agreed with Palin's decision, most were upset.
"This is very, very disappointing," Rick Sheridan, one of her supporters, posted on Palin's page. "Sarah, you've got to be more careful. This woman does not represent conservative values. And the choice is so clear. Serious damage to your base here."
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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CNN: Democrats press Republicans to stop secret holds in Senate
Frustrated Democrats plan to go to the Senate floor Friday to seek Republican approval of 53 administration nominees they say are currently blocked by the secret holds placed by GOP senators. Democrats are especially upset because they think Republicans are getting around a Senate rule adopted three years ago that requires senators to make public their holds once they've had them in place for six legislative days.
CNN: Bill aims to strip certain Americans of their citizenship
A bipartisan group of legislators on Thursday introduced legislation in Congress to strip citizenship from any American found to be involved in terrorism. If the Terrorist Expatriation Act passes, an American would lose citizenship if found to have provided material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization - as designated by the secretary of state - or participated in actions against the United States.
CNN: Public anger is 'why I am in trouble,' Bennett says
Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, told CNN Thursday that he is working hard to overcome the anti-Washington, anti-incumbent political mood gripping the nation as the midterm election approaches. The Republican senator faces his first re-election challenge on Saturday, when he must finish first or second in the balloting at the state GOP convention in order to get a spot on the primary ballot.
CQ Politics: Mollohan’s Harbingers in West Virginia
There are abundant signs Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.) is in the fight of his political life. As he campaigns for a 15th term in the northern 1st district, Mollohan is airing television ads sharply critical of state Sen. Mike Oliverio (D), whose quest for the Democratic nomination on May 11 is the congressman’s most serious intraparty challenge in many years. Mollohan, who is accusing his competitor of having a right-wing agenda, wouldn’t be criticizing Oliverio if he didn’t think he was a threat.
Washington Post: In Hawaii, intraparty feud may cost Democrats a seat in Congress
Across the country, Democrats are on the defense, laboring to put out political fires sparked by angry voters and emboldened Republicans. Even Hawaii, the bluest of blue states, where a Democratic machine has controlled politics for the five decades since statehood, has become a dangerous hot spot for the party in power. But here's the catch: The Democrats started this fire themselves.
Los Angeles Times: GOP Senate candidates spar in first face-to-face debate
The three major Republican candidates for U.S. Senate jousted Thursday over which would be the most effective steward of conservative principles, covering territory from Afghanistan to gun rights in their first face-to-face debate of the primary season.
Lexington Herald-Leader: Kentucky Poll: More voters unhappy with McConnell
About half of Kentucky voters frown on the job done by Kentucky’s two U.S. senators — figures that track a national trend of voter dissatisfaction with Washington incumbents and the federal government, according to a new Kentucky poll. It has been a tough year for Washington incumbents and lawmakers across the country are experiencing similar drops in approval ratings, said Jennifer Duffy, senior editor at the Cook Political Report. In McConnell’s case, his position as senate minority leader makes him a large target for a disgruntled electorate.