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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs