Unemployment Rate Drops in March
Last month, the United States economy added 216,000 new jobs. This gain followed the 194,000 new positions added in February. The two subsequent months of fairly significant improvement have caused the nationwide unemployment rate to drop to 8.8 percent, which is a full percentage point down from November 20101 and the lowest it has been in two years.
While the new report has created significant optimism about the economy, it does not offer much relief to the many Georgia residents who are still struggling with debt, bankruptcy, and foreclosure. Economists say that only a small percentage of the 8 million jobs lost during the recession have been recovered, and that employers need to add between 250,000 and 300,000 jobs per month in order to really chip away at the unemployment that persists throughout the country.
The private sector was responsible for all new jobs added last month, with 230,000 new positions. The largest gains were in the private services sector, which added almost 200,000 jobs. Government jobs dropped by 14,000 in March, and the construction industry saw the slowest gains as construction spending fell in February to its lowest level since late 1999.
Despite the gains, there is some persistent bad news. There remain 13.5 million people unemployed in Georgia and throughout the country, and as of last month, over 45 percent of them had been out of work for at least 27 weeks. In addition, although the number of jobs increased, earnings stayed the same last month and have yet to see a significant increase this year.
Source: Reuters, “Employment jumps in March, jobless rate falls“, Lucia Mutikani, 1 April 2011