Friday, April 2, 2010

Back in Black: Jobs Added, Unemployment Rate Stays at 9.7%

WSJ details:

U.S. employers created jobs at the fastest pace in three years in March, but nearly one-third came from temporary hiring for the Census, indicating the labor market has still some way to go to recover.

The Labor Department said in a report Friday that nonfarm payrolls rose by 162,000 in March, the largest gain since March 2007. That compared to a revised 14,000 drop in February, when the number was likely depressed by the blizzards that hit the East Coast.

Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires were expecting payrolls to rise by an even higher 200,000. The February figure was revised upward from an originally reported 36,000 decline.

Taking into account revisions to prior months, the U.S. economy added an average of 54,000 jobs a month in the first quarter, fueling optimism about the job market's recovery.

However, the 2010 decennial Census accounted for 48,000 of the employment boost. Since those jobs will be lost in the second half of the year, economists cautioned not to read too much into the headline figure.

As a reminder of the labor market's continued weakness, the unemployment rate stayed at 9.7% last month, in line with economists' expectations. The jobless rate is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics using a different, household survey.

Source: BLS


  1. Great AC/DC tune!

    Has it really been since March 2007 since a number liek this was printed? Wow.

  2. You do realize this is completely meaningless. We are going to have permanent high unemployment. Or at least for the next 15-20 years.

  3. How is permanent high unemployment meaningless? That will drive everything from fiscal to social policy (and perhaps global conflict) if true.

  4. I think anon meant looking at jobs numbers on a monthly basis was meaningless in the big picture but I could be wrong.

    Tim G said high UE was "unacceptable" but things being what they are, is it not acceptable by definition?

  5. Yes sorry, I should have worded that better. I was trying to say that in the big picture, this slight rise in jobs wasn't going to reverse our high unemployment problem. Even the govt has admitted our unemployment will be high for at least another 2 to 3 years.

  6. Long term still looks pretty grim:

    Long term

    Still heading for the moon...