Saturday, 3 April 2010

US employment rises in March

The US economy added jobs in March. Bloomberg reports:

Employers in the U.S. created more jobs in March than at any time in the past three years, showing the recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s is broadening and becoming more entrenched.

Payrolls rose by 162,000 workers, the third gain in the past five months and the most since March 2007, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. The increase included 48,000 temporary workers hired by the government to conduct the census. Unemployment was 9.7 percent for a third month...

Private payrolls increased by 123,000 in March, the third consecutive increase and the biggest since May 2007. Employment at government agencies climbed by 39,000 workers, reflecting the increase in census staff. Budget-constrained state and local governments reduced headcount last month...

Employment of temporary workers, which are considered a harbinger of permanent hiring, climbed in March for a sixth consecutive month. Their share in the payroll count is diminishing, showing companies are becoming more optimistic, said Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York...

Not all the data in the employment report was positive. The figures showed average earnings per hour dropped last month and the number of people working part-time because they couldn’t find full-time work increased.

The latest employment reports adds to signs that the recession is over. Again from Bloomberg:

The biggest increase in employment in three years makes it “pretty clear” the deepest U.S. recession since the 1930s has ended, said the head of the group charged with making the call...

“I personally put lots of emphasis on employment,” Robert Hall, who heads the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, said in an interview. “I would say ‘pretty clear’ is a good description” for whether the economic contraction has ended, he said.

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