NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Employment grew more than expected in April.

The Labor Department reported that nonfarm payroll employment rose by 244,000 in April compared with 221,000 in March.

Economists were on average were expecting a rise of 185,000, according to

The change for nonfarm payroll employment in March was revised to growth of 221,000 from 216,000.

In April, employment rose by 57,000 in retail, 51,000 in professional and business services and 46,000 in leisure and hospitality. The unemployment rate edged up to 9%.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 3 cents, or 0.1%, to $22.95 in April.

On the downside, employment in both state government and local government continued to trend down, with April losses concentrated in the non-educational areas, the Labor Department said.

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-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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