WASHINGTON — U.S. employment conditions improved in April, as the number of non-farm jobs increased by 244,000 after a gain of 221,000 in March. The unemployment rate rose to 9.0%, as labor force growth slowed and the number of jobless rose.

Private sector payrolls increased 268,000 as government layoffs continued, with the public sector losing 24,000 jobs. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% and the average hours worked remained steady at 33.6.

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