The unemployment numbers have just been released for March, and they contain bad news for the economy and jobs growth.
While the unemployment rate ticked down from 7.7% to 7.6%, jobs growth was a low 88,000 compared to a forecast of nearly 200,000.
The drop in the unemployment rate was actually bad news as well as it resulted from a fall in the labor force participation rate again.
So we have lots of debt, high unemployment and not enough consumer demand. It looks like a long slog ahead.
U.S. economy creates 88,000 jobs in March has the breaking news:
"The economy generated just 88,000 jobs in March - the smallest gain in 10 months
- and more people dropped out of the labor force, adding to a fresh pile of
evidence that the pace of hiring in the United States has slowed.
unemployment rate fell a tick to 7.6% from 7.7%, the lowest rate since December
2007, but the decline stemmed from fewer Americans looking for work, according
to Labor Department data. The jobs report fell well short of Wall Street
forecasts. . . .
Employment gains for February and January, however, were both revised
higher and people who do hold jobs put in more hours, Labor said Friday. The
number of new jobs created in February was revised to 268,000 from 236,000,
while January's figure was revised up to 148,000 from 119,000.
increase in hiring in March occurred in professional services (51,000) and
health care (23,000). Retailers and government trimmed employment. Average
hourly wages edged up 1 cent to $23.82, reducing the 12-month increase to 1.8%.
The average workweek rose 0.1 hour to 34.6, a sign that workers are putting in
The participation rate, a measure of health in the labor market,
slid again to 63.3%, marking the lowest level since 1979."
The news on the jobs front is not good news, of course, but nevertheless, it's always best to know where things stand.
With ongoing high fiscal deficits and debts, accompanied by high unemployment and increased payroll taxes, it's likely that weak consumer demand will continue for a long time to come.
As a result, people will continue to drop out of the work force and unemployment will remain far too high.
We'll have more to say later.