Saturday, April 03, 2010

Economy Adds Jobs

After losing eight million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, payrolls finally surged in March, the Labor Department reported on Friday. Employers added 162,000 nonfarm jobs last month. Nationwide, the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent.

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The economy needs to add more than 100,000 jobs a month just to absorb new entrants into the labor market, let alone provide a livelihood for the 15 million Americans already looking for work.

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The March report may have been inflated, though, by a rebound from February when many people could not work because of snowstorms. Additionally, nearly a third of the hiring in March was temporary work on the 2010 census.

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Many of the jobs created last month were part time for people who really wanted full-time work. That caused the broader measure of unemployment along with those who are underemployed to tick up, to 16.9 percent, from 16.8 percent in February.

The situation looks worse for the long-term unemployed. The average length of time the jobless have been out of work has reached 31.2 weeks, the longest period since the government began keeping records in 1948.

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Even though the census jobs are just for a few months, I hope they will have a longer-lasting effect, since more people will have some money to spend, which could lead to more jobs for others.


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