BURST OF HIRING: Employers added a net 290,000 jobs in April, the most in four years. Most of those jobs came from private employers. Job gains were widespread -- including manufacturing, construction, retail and business and professional services.

INFLUX OF JOBSEEKERS: The jobless rate rose from 9.7 percent to 9.9 percent. That's because hundreds of thousands of people poured into the market looking for jobs.

ENCOURAGING SIGNALS: Both employers and jobseekers are gaining confidence as the economic recovery takes deeper root.