The U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs in March according to a new report
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 48,000 of those were temporary
hires by the government to conduct the census, but the rest were from
private employers. The jobs growth is the largest boost in three years,
but unemployment is holding steady at 9.7 percent. What should we make
of the gain?
- Finally, Economic Breakthrough? The
Washington Monthly's Steve Benen is optimistic.
"The jobs report is easily the best we've seen since the start
of the Great Recession late 2007, and the strongest overall in three
years." He passes along the following chart, which shows the monthly job
growth or loss since January 2008. Red columns indicate the Bush
administration, blue indicates Obama.
Incredible Rebound MarketWatch's Rex Nutting beams, "Payroll
gains were broad based, with 60% of all industries adding workers in
March. Goods-producing industries' payrolls rose by 41,000, the first
increase since March 2007. Manufacturing payrolls increased by 17,000,
with 58.5% of manufacturing industries hiring. Manufacturing hours
increased by half an hour to 41 hours per week, with 3.7 hours of
overtime on average."
- Why Unemployment Still Holds The
New York Times' Javier Hernandez explains,
"The economy must create 100,000 jobs each month just to absorb new
entrants into the labor force, according to many projections. That
sustained level of growth may not come until later this year, economists
said, making pervasive unemployment a virtual certainty for some time
to come. Indeed, the government predicts the jobless rate will average
9.8 percent next year and 8.4 percent in 2012 before falling to 5
percent in 2016."
- Joblessness Is Actually Up The Wall
Street Journal's Phil Izzo reports that "U-6
unemployment" actually ticked up from 16.8 to 16.9 percent. "The
comprehensive gauge of labor underutilization, known as the 'U-6' for
its data classification by the Labor Department, accounts for people who
have stopped looking for work or who can’t find full-time jobs." That
U-6 remains high "indicates the job market has a long way to go before
growth in the economy translates into relief for workers."
News for Democrats The Hill's Ian Swanson predicts a
political boost. The numbers are already "providing a significant
political boost to Democrats and the Obama administration," he writes.
"The Democratic National Committee pounced on the news, e-mailing
reporters news stories highlighting the figures."
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