A bounce in a better direction for America’s economy; the Labor Department out with its latest numbers on employment say the private-sector created 216,000 jobs in March, beating most economists’ predictions.
That number was strong enough to send the national unemployment rate to 8.8 percent; it had been stuck at about 9 percent for months.
Dig deep into the numbers and one will find interesting developments. Manufacturing, yes manufacturing continues to grow, adding 17,000 jobs. Health care, professional, and business related employment contributed 78,000 jobs.
Patrick O’Keefe with J.H. Cohn Economic research told Reuters, “It’s belated evidence the expansion is finally beginning to make a dent in the jobs problem that the country has.” But O’Keefe says one should not read too much into the positive side, “It’s encouraging but it also highlights how far we have to go to regain our footing.”
The number of long-term unemployed, that’s people out of work for more than 27 weeks remains at a disastrous six million plus, and even if 200,000 jobs are added to the economy each month it will take another 8 years to get back to the numbers America enjoyed before the Great Recession settled-in.
The unemployment rate for African Americans (15.5 percent) and Latinos (11.3 percent) remains painfully too high.
Still there is enough optimism in the numbers that Economist Heidi Shierholz to tell the New York Times that, ” I suspect that the workers on the sideline will start coming back in.”
Economists expect similar growth throughout the spring, but after that, it’s still too hard to read. Factors such as oil prices could cloud the near-term future for employment.
(For more information about the numbers and analysis click on Rock The Capital.)
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