The U.S. Economy Added 192,000 Jobs in March

And the unemployment rate is unchanged at 6.7 percent.

About 1,500 people seeking employment wait in line to enter a job fair outside the Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater March 28, 2014 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Matt Berman
April 4, 2014, 4:37 a.m.

Spring is fi­nally here. The U.S. eco­nomy ad­ded 192,000 jobs in March, leav­ing the un­em­ploy­ment rate un­changed at 6.7 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to new data re­leased Fri­day morn­ing from the Bur­eau of Labor Stat­ist­ics. This comes on the heels of last month’s ex­pect­a­tions-beat­ing re­port, which showed a growth of 175,000 jobs in Feb­ru­ary.

The new re­port re­vises Feb­ru­ary’s growth to 197,000 and Janu­ary’s to 144,000 jobs ad­ded, up from an ori­gin­al 129,000.

Fri­day’s re­port came in slightly be­low Wall Street’s op­tim­ist­ic ex­pect­a­tions of about 200,000 ad­ded jobs in March. The U.S. eco­nomy has ad­ded 183,000 jobs per month on av­er­age over the last year, but the bru­tal winter across the coun­try cooled things down a bit. Ac­count­ing for the latest re­vi­sions, from Decem­ber through Feb­ru­ary, the av­er­age job growth per month was just 139,000, be­low the 225,000 av­er­age growth dur­ing the pre­ced­ing three months. That drop-off can be par­tially at­trib­uted to in­ter­rup­tion in con­struc­tion, and heavy snow tem­por­ar­ily shut­ting down factor­ies.

Signs of the pos­it­ive weath­er change can be seen in the growth of the av­er­age work­week in the latest re­port. In March, the av­er­age work­week in­creased by  0.2 hours to 34.5 hours, in­clud­ing a 0.3 hour in­crease for the man­u­fac­tur­ing work­week. In con­struc­tion, the av­er­age work­week in­creased by one hour from Feb­ru­ary to March, re­turn­ing to the 39.1-hour week from March 2013.

So if base­ball sea­son start­ing up this past week didn’t prove it to you, this new jobs re­port hope­fully should: Winter is over. With the com­bin­a­tion of Feb­ru­ary’s re­vised num­ber and March’s near-200,000 growth, things are look­ing just a little ro­si­er. The eco­nom­ic re­cov­ery has a way to go, but we may fi­nally be turn­ing a corner after a slug­gish few months.

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