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April 02, 2010

Unemployment Stays At 9.7%, Fewer Jobs Created Than Expected But Still Pretty AWESOME According To Some Media Outlets

If the news weren't so damaging to so many people it would be hysterical how the ObamaMedia covers this stuff.

So far (and it's still early) CNN has the best Obama spin on today's job figures.

The U.S. economy gained more jobs in March than any other month in the last three years, according to a government report released Friday.

The Labor Department said the economy gained 162,000 jobs in the month, compared to a revised reading of a 14,000 job loss in February. That makes March only the third month of gains since the recession began.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a gain of 184,000 jobs. But despite missing forecasts, the March number was generally not seen as a disappointment by economists, because revisions in January and February readings added a combined 62,000 additional jobs.

The unemployment rate remained stubbornly high, holding steady at 9.7%, matching economist expectations.

The lack of a decrease in the unemployment rate is unexpected because if you read on, you find that almost 50,000 of these jobs are temp gigs associated with the census. Some had expected the rate to drop by up to half a point because of that temporary hiring. My guess is they had to scramble this morning to rework administration talking points away from a drop in the rate and focus solely on the raw jobs created number.

Creating some non-census jobs is better than shedding them, so that's good but 9.7% unemployment? The adverb they elected to go with to describe the unemployment rate is 'stubbornly'? 'Devastating' comes to mind, as does 'well above what Obama promised when he forced the so-called 'stimulus' through last year'. Funny how that chart the media touted when they were flacking the thing for Obama never seems to appear anywhere except on blogs.

The Wall Street Journal has a more straight forward recap of the numbers and it's basically what you'd expect...job growth is meh.

Beyond government jobs, the report showed that manufacturing continued to trend up, rising by 17,000. The industry, which is leading the economy's recovery, has added 45,000 jobs in the past quarter. Construction, a sector that's been suffering, added 15,000 jobs in March.

However, investors should be cautious to conclude from the March data that the jobs market is now out of the woods. The U.S. Federal Reserve expects the unemployment rate to stay high for a long time as the economy recovers only slowly.

The jobs report shouldn't change the Fed's view that short-term interest rates must remain at a record low for several months at least. Fed officials project the unemployment rate will fall only to 8.3% at the end of 2011 from about 9.6% in the final quarter of this year.

Until now, most companies have preferred to meet rising demand by having existing employees work more instead of taking on new workers, which is behind the recent surge in productivity. Firms want to see more evidence that demand for their products and services is picking up before they take on more employees—and that could take time.

When you are talking numbers in the tens of thousands in a country of over 300 million people, you are talking about job growth that amounts to rounding errors. It certainly good news for the people who got jobs but for the economy as a whole, not much to cheer about.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:22 AM

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