The U.S. economy added a fairly solid number of new jobs in March as employers reverted to their average pace of hiring after the unusually harsh winter weather.
The Labor Department said Friday that the economy created a net 192,000 new jobs last month, just about as many as in February and the average for all of last year. Economists had forecast job growth of about 200,000 for last month.
The nation’s jobless rate held steady at 6.7% in March, but the broader measure of unemployment and underemployment, including part-time workers who want full-time jobs, edged up to 12.7%.
Labor Department officials revised up the job-growth numbers for the prior two months — to 197,000 for February, from 175,000 previously estimated; and to 144,000 for January, from an initial tally of 129,000.
With those changes, the economy added an average of 178,000 jobs in the first quarter. That is down from the 194,000 average for last year, but analysts expect job growth to pick up some as employers step up hiring after delays caused by the cold weather across the much of the nation.
SOURCE: Don Lee
The Los Angeles Times