March Hiring Slowed, Raising Fears About The Economy

Jin Lee/Bloomberg
Jin Lee/Bloomberg
By Jason Lange

WASHINGTON -- American employers hired at the slowest pace in nine months in March, a sign that Washington's austerity drive could be stealing momentum from the economy.

The economy added just 88,000 jobs last month and the jobless rate ticked a tenth of a point lower to 7.6 percent largely due to people dropping out of the work force, Labor Department data showed on Friday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a gain of 200,000.

The slower pace of growth in payrolls marks a steep reversal of the recent trend in which the labor market appeared to be stepping up its pace of recovery. It also comes after Washington increased taxes in January and just as across-the-board federal budget cuts began in March.

More: 15 Companies Hiring In April

"When you get to numbers below 100,000, you have to start worrying," Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics in London, said before the data was released.

The slowdown in job growth could make policymakers at the Federal Reserve more confident about continuing a bond-buying stimulus program. Discussion at the central bank has been growing over whether to dial back the purchases, perhaps as soon as this summer.

Analysts have noted that the federal spending cuts have only just begun and will be a more substantial drag on the economy between April and June, when many government workers begin taking days off work without pay.

Government payrolls fell only 7,000 in March, reversing the 14,000-job gain from February.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who has said the labor market must show sustained improvement before monetary stimulus is eased, has voiced concern about the spending cuts.

The jobless rate fell as the labor force shrank by 496,000 people. The unemployment rate is derived from a survey of households which is separate from the survey of employer payrolls. The household survey actually showed employment fell by 206,000 in March.

More: What's The Real Unemployment Rate?

The drop in the labor force sent the share of the population that is either employed or looking for work to 63.3 percent, its lowest since 1979.

Reporting by Jason Lange; editing by Andre Grenon.

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

Related Stories

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

You mean no recovery this summer either??????????????

April 08 2013 at 10:39 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The country is turning into gun slinging ghettos but that has nothing to do with the loss of jobs right?

Enjoy you bilingualism now because in the end your tomb stone is going to be in English!

April 08 2013 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let me know when the trade deals work because so many of are not working.

April 08 2013 at 10:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Notice the rapid decline of the job market and middleclass after the trade deals.Coincidence I think not. They failed the people an they will never erase that from their history.

April 08 2013 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unemployed youth have nothing to do now but ride around at night flashing their high beams and harassing anyone on the road for entertainment. I see a rise in hostilities among the youth which will grow until people get hurt. There are few jobs an tensions are increasing. Society is deteriating at an accelerated rate due to the decline of the job market and revenue losses.

April 08 2013 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obamanomics ,trickle up poverty has not worked so far ,why should we think it will get any better anytime soon?

April 08 2013 at 6:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

They failed to mention the effect on employment of the implementation of Obamacare. Small businesses must keep their employment numbers below 50. Some small businesses are shedding employees to avoid the costly Obamacare legislation.

April 08 2013 at 4:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to mrscaptndavid's comment

Companies were going to reduce their work hours and workforce regardless because of Wall Street greed period. Now the companies have a scape goat to shield their greedy intentions.

April 08 2013 at 9:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A lot of small businesses are exempt from age discrimination in hiring so let the ones that are go out of business were better off.

April 08 2013 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hello Beautiful

I'm so tired of hearing Obama's name every time the job market is in discussion. Do you really think he took jobs from Americans or that he can somehow magically create jobs out of the air? Like him or not he is not the sole reason the economy if failing.Get an education and you will not have to worry as much about job loss. My household makes around 200,000a year. It nice being an psychologist being married to a federal agent.

April 08 2013 at 3:28 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Hello Beautiful's comment

You must be losing your mind I hope you get well soon. Too many educated graduates are unemployed Education isn't the reason please try again when your well.

April 08 2013 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well you need a shrink so glad you can afford it.

April 08 2013 at 9:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


April 08 2013 at 8:26 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

How many of our companies handed secrets over to the Chinese so they could make their stuff there then claimed the secrets were stolen? Now they got the US stuck on visas workers when they could of trained our own citizens!

April 08 2013 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment


April 08 2013 at 1:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to eastmanmar's comment

President George Washington spoke often with my family's ancestors during the Revolutionary war when he was a General of the Continental Troops. As for the other mentioned Socks the Cat would be the only one I would associate with.

April 08 2013 at 9:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Search Articles

Picks From the Web