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Friday, April 6, 2012

Economy Added Fewest Jobs in Five Months

Employers added 120,000 jobs in March, the slowest growth seen since October, and less than half of the 246,000 averaged over the last three months. March’s growth was significantly lower than expectations, which were for around 200,000 jobs. Despite the slower job creation, the unemployment rate edged down slightly in March to 8.2% from 8.3% last month.



ABA Chief Economist James Chessen commented, "The March jobs report shows that the labor market is barely treading water. The economy must create nearly 100,000 jobs per month just to offset new entrants into the labor force.In order to see a measurable improvement in the unemployment rate the economy needs produce more than 200,000 jobs per month."

The private sector added 121,000 jobs, down from 233,000 in February. The slowdown in private job growth was due entirely to the service sector, which added 89,000 jobs in March, after adding 211,000 jobs the previous month. The goods producing sector actually saw better job gains, adding 31,000 jobs, up from the 29,000 created in February.


The public sector shed just 1,000 jobs in February. Although it contributed to job growth in February following revisions, it has only done so in two of the last 17 months. Despite the poor job gains, the unemployment rate edged lower in March, to 8.2%, down from 8.3% in February. The labor force participation rate was virtually unchanged at, an extremely low, 63.8%. Read the report.

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