News / USA

    US Job Growth Slows, Jobless Rate Dips

    US Economy Adds Fewest Jobs in Nine Monthsi
    X
    April 06, 2013 1:15 AM
    U.S. unemployment fell in March to the lowest level in four years, down one tenth of one percent from the previous month, to 7.6 percent. But it's not because more Americans found work. The U.S. Labor Department's monthly jobs report shows that employers hired the fewest number of workers in nine months. Mil Arcega explains why.
    Watch related report by Mil Arcega
    VOA News
    The U.S. says the growth of its labor market slowed markedly last month, even as its unemployment rate edged lower to 7.6 percent.

    U.S. employers had been adding about 200,000 jobs a month since late last year. But the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that payrolls only increased by 88,000 new jobs in March, the fewest in nine months.

    Last month's hiring was down sharply from the robust figure of 268,000 new jobs in February, and a signal that the U.S. recovery from its deep recession five years ago remains uneven.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only 88,000 new jobs were added in March.The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only 88,000 new jobs were added in March.
    x
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only 88,000 new jobs were added in March.
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only 88,000 new jobs were added in March.
    The jobless rate is the lowest in four years, but the government said the rate only dropped from February's 7.7 percent level because fewer people were looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively looking for work.

    The senior economist at one large U.S. bank, Mark Vitner of Wells Fargo, said the weak March job growth calls into question the earlier gains in hiring.

     “It’s clearly disappointing, and on our trading floor you could hear the collective sigh. I mean … the air was almost sucked out of the room. Everybody was hoping for a number of about 100,000 more jobs than this and really it raises questions as to just how valid the earlier pickup was. In each of the last three years, we’ve seen stronger numbers at the start of the year and then as we’ve moved into spring it’s like the economy’s hit an air pocket. And a lot of folks get this sense of dread, that here we go again, that things haven’t gotten all that much better," said Vitner.

    Vitner faulted policy-makers in Washington for failing to reach agreement on tax and spending issues, and said this is the primary reason why the U.S. economy has not steadily advanced.

    “You don’t have to be overly political to say that it’s run amok. It’s just a disaster. No one has a whole lot of confidence as to what tax policy is going to be in the future, and we’ve got monster-sized deficits that don’t seem to be going away anytime soon," he said.

    Another economist, Michael Hicks of Ball State University in Indiana, says it may take a decade or longer to get back to the unemployment levels seen before the financial crisis.

    "I think we’re seeing the U.S. economy settling into a pattern of really poor labor market performance," said Hicks. "And despite the good news about the stock market and maybe some other, generally good news about the economy, labor markets seem to be very much stuck in a pattern of very slow growth, adding very few jobs and preserving a very large pool of unemployed."

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.