Updated with government employment figures.
) -- After two years of
, the U.S.
is recovering — albeit more slowly than economists had hoped. A solid first quarter gave companies across the country the confidence to start hiring again, prompting many to add jobs and fill open positions.
U.S. employment rose by 431,000 last month, but that figure was primarily driven by the hiring of temporary Census Bureau workers, the government said today. The unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent from 9.9 percent. Yesterday,
Automatic Data Processing
said payrolls at American companies increased for a fourth straight month, adding 55,000 jobs in May.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas
said in a report this week that companies announced plans to cut 38,810 jobs in May, up 1.3% from April and down 65% from a year earlier. During the first five months of the year, announced layoffs totaled 258,319, declining 69% from the same period last year. However, companies announced plans to add 14,922 in May.
"The recovery process is slow, so it could be several months or even years before unemployment returns to pre-recession levels," John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas said in an interview last month.
During the economic downturn, many Americans abandoned their job searches out of frustration and are no longer counted among the unemployed. Now that job opportunities are expected to open up more people will re-enter the labor pool, keeping the unemployment rate high for now.
Here are 10 companies that have announced plans to hire.
, which Fortune said was "the best company to work for," hired more than 800 people during the first quarter, bringing the company's headcount to 20,621, up from 19,835 in December. During the
, the company boosted revenue 23%.
And the search giant doesn't plan to stop. Google has announced plans to bring on 2,000 employees this year.
9. JPMorgan Chase
earnings jumped 57% to $3.3 billion in the
from a year earlier. CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement the company plans to add almost 9,000 jobs in the U.S.
"While the economy still faces challenges, there have been clear and broad-based improvements in underlying trends," Dimon said in the statement. "We believe these improvements will continue and are hopeful they will gather momentum, resulting in a strong recovery."
The company's Web site lists more than 5,000 job openings.
8. General Electric
plans to add 1,300 jobs in Michigan during the next five years. The company recently opened a new facility in Wayne County, Mich., and hired 220 people for the site.
There are more than 2,000 job openings on the company's career site. As a member of the Invest in America Alliance, GE has also committed to doubling the number of recent graduates it hires this year.
climbed 8% from a year earlier. The airplane maker plans to build a new facility in South Carolina and hire as many as 150 employees for the new site. There are more than 400 open positions on the company's Web site.
If the Boeing NewGen Tanker is selected as the U.S. Air Force's next aerial refueling aircraft, the company could add as many as 7,500 jobs in Kansas, according to a
will aim to add more
as part of the Invest in America Alliance. The company boosted first-quarter revenue 44% from a year earlier.
"Many college graduates have been among the hardest hit by the economic downturn and providing them a place in the economy today is the best way to ensure America's innovation and competitiveness tomorrow," said Richard Taylor, Intel's director of human resources, in a statement.
According to Intel's career Web site, there are more than 700 open positions in the U.S.
5. Nationwide Financial Services
Nationwide Financial Services
swung to a profit of $396 million in the first quarter after losing $106 million a year earlier.
In a recent
, Nationwide said it plans fill "approximately 1,400 open positions across the country." This is an increase from last year at this time, when there were 600 open positions at the company.
4. General Motors
After filing for bankrupcty a year ago,
has returned from the brink of ruin. Sales of its Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models climbed 33% to 183,091 in April from March. Since July, the company has restored or created
in the U.S. and Canada.
GM's career Web site has more than 100 jobs listed, but the company plans to create or retain 1,600 jobs by adding new plants in New York, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. These factories will build fuel-efficient cars and trucks.
is shifting some work typically done by suppliers in Mexico to the U.S. The carmaker plans to spend $135 million to design and produce hybrid-electric vehicles. Ford plans to hire more than
and add 170 more jobs transmission plants in Michigan. The new hybrid cars are expected to go into production in 2012.
In a recent
revealed plans to open a new technology service center in Columbia, Mo. The opening of this new service center would create as many as 800 technical jobs. Job hunters can also find almost 2,000 open positions posted on IBM's Web site. The jobs are in a wide range of categories, including technical, management, research and sales.
1. Morgan Stanley
plans to add at least 50 employees to Charlotte, N.C., the
reported. Spokesman James Wiggins told the newspaper that the financial services firm wants to bring in private bankers to work with financial advisers around the country.
Along with the 50 open jobs in Charlotte, Morgan Stanley's Web site lists more than 1,000 open positions nationwide, as well as almost a 1,000 open jobs outside the U.S. Most of the positions are in accounting, operations and wealth management.
2010 Layoffs Companies That Are Cutting Back
-- Reported by Theresa McCabe in Boston