Jim Chessen, ABA Chief Economist stated, “Though it is likely that job growth will vary month to month going forward, private sector hiring activity is now at the point where it is starting to chip away at unemployment. This is an encouraging development.” It takes about 150,000 jobs created each month in order to absorb new labor market entrants.
In March, the unemployment rate fell 0.1 point to 8.8%. Though the payroll growth seen in March is consistent with a modest unemployment rate decline, the drops that occurred a few months ago are not likely as positive of an indication. About three quarters of a million people left the labor force from November to January. This is likely due to increased levels of discouraged workers. The labor force participation rate remains at a cyclical low of 64.2%. If this rate begins to move upward back to a historical norm, even will solid payroll growth, the unemployment rate may stay high in the near to intermediate term.
|Payroll Change (000s)||216||194||68||152||93||171|
|Labor Force Particip. R.||64.2||64.2||64.2||64.3||64.5||64.5|