New Report Shows Employment Growth

By Toni Vranjes

April 2, 2010

The Labor Department released an encouraging jobs report today, showing that employers added 162,000 workers to their payrolls in March.

However, the labor force also increased, and the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent.

Some of the employment growth resulted from federal hiring. In March, the government added 48,000 temporary workers to help with the 2010 Census.

The government also revised its numbers for February, when major snowstorms hit the mid-Atlantic region. The new report shows that the economy shed 14,000 jobs that month, instead of 36,000.

“Even after adjusting for the 48,000 temporary Census workers hired and a rebound effect from the February snowstorms, this number suggests an increase in underlying payroll employment,” said Christina Romer, chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, in a statement.

Job creation occurred in a number of sectors, including temporary-help services, health care, manufacturing, construction and mining. Meanwhile, employment declined in the financial and information industries.

During the first quarter of 2010, the economy added 54,000 jobs per month on average, according to Romer. In the first quarter of 2009, by contrast, the economy lost an average of 753,000 jobs per month.

“While this is the most positive jobs report we have had in three years, there will likely be bumps in the road ahead,” Romer added.

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