New Disappointing Jobs Report: Unemployment Falls But Hiring Slows

The nation's jobs picture got a weaker-than-expected shot in the arm Friday, following a report from the Labor Department that showed the economy created 120,000 jobs in March, well below analyst expectations of 200,000 newly created positions.

As expected, the pace of job creation slowed in March, even as the country's overall unemployment rate fell to a three-year low of 8.2 percent, down from February's 8.3 percent. Within minutes of the jobs report's release, labor-market watchers labeled the latest report "disappointing" even as some noted that the overall recovery in employment remains on track.

The weaker-than-anticipated jobs report could give expected Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney ammunition is his bid to unseat President Barack Obama in this fall's general election, Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent noted.

Among those calling the latest numbers disappointing, Sargent says that while the nation has had 24 months of consecutive private-sector job creations, the latest report "will help Romney make his latest case -- that Obama has failed to lead the recovery."

Some labor market watchers were also concerned by statistics contained in Friday's report that showed the share of working-age Americans in the workforce slipped by a tenth of a percent in March to 63.8 percent.

Noting that drop, Jim Pethokoukis, columnist and blogger for the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, tweeted shortly after the report was released: "If labor force participation rate had stayed steady from Feb., unemployment rate would be 8.4%."

Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services, told the MarketPlace Morning Report radio program that the drop in the nation's unemployment rate to 8.2 percent was also a disappointment. "The unemployment rate fell because there were fewer people looking for work, not more getting jobs," he said.

While the lower-than-anticipated number of jobs created last month failed to meet expectations, Faucher noted that since December, the nation has averaged more than 200,000 new jobs each month and he expects that job creation will once again resume at the previous pace.

Among sectors with strong job growth, manufacturing remained a bright spot in the economy, adding 37,000 new jobs in March. That led David Shepardson, Washington bureau chief for The Detroit News, to note via Twitter that manufacturing has added "470,000 since it hit a low in January 2010."

The overall economy has added 858,000 jobs since December -- the best four months of hiring in two years, The Associated Press reported.

The trend of ongoing improvement in the labor market was bolstered Thursday. The Labor Department reported that initial claims for jobless benefits fell to a four-year low, while employment-services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said in its analysis that planned job cuts by employers dropped last month to their lowest level in 10 months.

But Challenger's CEO cautioned that more large-scale cuts may come -- especially at the government level. Indeed, earlier this week Internet-search company Yahoo Inc. announced plans to cut 2,000 jobs, and retailer J.C. Penney Co. said Thursday that it plans to cut 900 jobs, including some 600 positions at its headquarters in Plano, Texas, as the company seeks to simplify its business.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has cautioned that the current hiring pace is unlikely to continue without more consumer spending.


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Bernanke Warns US Job Market Weak Despite Gains


David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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SHIRLEY

It just wasn't President Bush it was all of Congress and the Senate years before he became President. You could probably start the blame game as far back as President Carter. Now I know this will be real hard to understand but without the Congress ad the Senate passing Bills that allows STUPID to happen the President can't sign anything into LAW. Granted who ever might be President at the time agrees with the STUPID LAW and may even be a stauch supporter of it is what has happen. The Big problem that we face as a country is the Election Process is being brought with Dollars from Goups of people that have a agenda to make more money in the future from the very people that they are able to get elected in the Bills they can have written and then passed up the line for the President to sign into Law.. This is being done by both of the major parties. I wonder how many of the Congress and Senate would be there to serve the people if they weren't paid for their positions and had to pay for their own elections
without all the help they get from donations. I figure no more than a handful in each party and I'm not sure if anyone one would do it for President. The American People need to have a limit of how long the Congress and the Senate can stay in Office only if they can stay elected every 4 years for a total of 20 years and retire with 10 years worth of retirement at the end. They have to have the same Medical coverage as the normal people unless they pay for it out of their own pocket. The American People need to get rid of all this Money that is being spent to get certain people Elected. I consider that like a Will Call purchase. We talk so much about all these other countries being corrupt and we won't look in the mirror. Thats a real shame along with the News either cheerleading misinformation or stirring the pot for ratings. Jobs getting better,false this is all based on the number of people filing for benefits when their benefits run out and they don't don't have a job. What is that called? Or one might say they can get a job if they really want one. False, alot of people are over Educated for the position, to Old for the positon, don't have the money to move across the country to get where they could maybe get a job, or that same job they had that paid 50 thousand a year is now down to 25 thousand a year. Why should they do the same work for half the price and the cost of living has risen about 25 to 50 percent. The people of American really need to Elect people to the Congress and the Senate and the Office of President that is really going to go there and do the work for the people and not the special interest or special lobby that walks the Halls for major Corprations. The Ameircan Tax Payer deserves Better. Maybe we could out source this work to another country, we could probably save trillions.

April 07 2012 at 7:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
duhurst55

give obama a break if it wasnt for that clown george bush we wouldnt be in this mess--he is doing the best he can with a republican house trying to stop him every step of the way----------vote for obama and a democratic house and senate

April 07 2012 at 6:21 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Rickrak

Read earlier that small businesses were hiring more. Now hiring is down. They better get their story straight. Americans wont vote for Obama if they learn the truth.
$80.00 to fill up the car. Food prices are crazy. Businesses working on lower margins to encourage spending. The national debt is at record highs. Political parties are more divided than ever. More people collecting government benefits. Obamacare about to break the bank. OWS thinks the government owes them a living! Illegal aliens taking Amercian low skill jobs. But dont worry the government is going to send you a check and the rich will pay.

April 06 2012 at 8:36 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Pinot Man

=WOW! ANY MESSAGE FROM THIS ADMINISTRATION SHOULD BE DISCARDED AND FAST! HE WILL DO OR SAY ANYTHING TO TAKE THIS COUNTRY DOWN! FOOD PRICES WAY OUT OF CONTROL, GAS PRICES? WHAT A JOKE! NOT HIS FAULT THE PIPE LINE DID NOT GO THROUGH! AND CANADA SOLD IT TO HIS FAVORITE PEOPLE, CHINA!
HAVE YOU PRICED FOOD FOR SUNDAY DNNER? UP 45%, CHECK IT OUT! IF YOU STILL VOTE FOR OBUMA YOU DESERVE WHAT HE THROWS AT YOU!!!

April 06 2012 at 7:22 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
thepetermedic

l ol make up your minds this morning media job report shows jobs are up now 8 hours later down lol only in the usa

April 06 2012 at 5:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Thome

More change, much less hope...............................

April 06 2012 at 5:10 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Thome's comment
watsonkbsj

BAD changes, more of the same (doubling down on the worst of GWB policies) and much less hope!

April 07 2012 at 3:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Henry

Sure is different from what was said earlier, "New UI claims drop so lets all cheer"! Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has cautioned that the current hiring pace is unlikely to continue without more consumer spending. Until the money that the Corporations are sitting on( that was given to create jobs) invests in the US then the economy will NOT recover. Maybe if the American people had been paying attention in the 80's we wouldn't be in this mess now!

April 06 2012 at 5:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Henry's comment
watsonkbsj

IMHO businesses are in the hot seat, waiting on what happens next. Taxes WILL rise when all the expiration dates hit at the end of this year. Since President Obama was elected, all economic decisions have been pushed to the burgeoning point... to a crisis point, etc. And I don't see anything happening today that will stop that end of the year crisis.

April 07 2012 at 3:28 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Tony

The truth is coming out, Obama lies, and most of the social media backs him up, Americans are not stupid, they see whats out there and how bad it is. Unemployment is Not 8.3% its more like 12% another lie from the obama team.

Wait till gas gets to $6, I cant wait to hear what they say, maybe its Bushes fault LOL.
Go look at food prices, up and up and up and its going to get worse, Just keep printing that money Obama. Obama = Disaster for America.

April 06 2012 at 4:11 PM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
boparenti

Anyone notice the lack of cars on the roads during the morning rush? There is alot more people out of work then we are being told. This admin is taking down this country right before our eyes and people will not notice till it is to late. The vote in November is the biggest in my lifetime.
PS In Obamacare the government gets real time access to all your bank accounts. People who work for the healthcare administration will have access to all your medical and personal records.
Take down USA in progress.

April 06 2012 at 2:58 PM Report abuse +18 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to boparenti's comment
a2948

How right you are! Also, many people are not driving unless it is absolutely necessary, because they cannot afford to. I can't believe the Obama nuts cannot see what is happening to this country. Maybe it is because of all the free stuff that is in their eyes. They just do not realize that nothing is free. Someone has to pay, and the money has run out.

April 06 2012 at 3:25 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
mhcontain

I love government math. Especially with the unemploymnet rate and inflation. Your only unemployed as long as you are getting unemployment benefits, and food and fuel don't factor into inflation. Go figure.

April 06 2012 at 2:47 PM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mhcontain's comment
Henry

You can thank Nixon for the "government math". His administration came up with it to hide the mess the country was in from the Oil Embargo. Another Republican that let the Corporations run over the country.

April 06 2012 at 5:13 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Henry's comment
watsonkbsj

If it's all about Nixon from decades ago, how do you explain that it still happens under a Democratic administration?

April 07 2012 at 3:31 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down

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