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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A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.