Today's Jobs Report? 'Call It a Wash'
192K new jobs, unemployment rate holds at 6.7%
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2014 7:53 AM CDT
Job seekers attend a marijuana industry job fair hosted by Open Vape, a vaporizer company, in Downtown Denver, Thursday March 13, 2014.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

(Newser) – Last month, the US added 192,000 jobs and the unemployment rate remained 6.7%. The immediate response seems to be free of either wails or applause. Economists had expected 200,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate dropping a bit to 6.6%—or, as Quartz put it in its preview, "Everyone is expecting an awesome US jobs report." But on the Wall Street Journal's liveblog, Michael J. Casey's take after seeing the numbers is, "I'm going to call that a wash." Why? Despite the slightly worse-than-expected numbers, February's numbers were revised upward, to 197,000 new jobs (rather than 175,000).

January's new jobs were also revised upward by 15,000, the AP reports. The AP seems reasonably pleased with today's report, calling March's "solid pace" of hiring "the latest sign that the economy is rebounding from a weak stretch brought on by a harsh winter." The AP also notes that a half-million Americans started looking for work—and most found it—last month, which is a good sign. But on the WSJ liveblog, Paul Vigna points out that while it's "positive as far as it goes" that the labor force participation rate ticked up to 63.2%, the number is "still uncomfortably near its 36-year low of 62.8%. What this means is that far too many folks who could be working and contributing to the economy aren't."

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Showing 3 of 116 comments
GumboLover
Apr 7, 2014 2:57 PM CDT
There are several levels of the unemployment rate that have been in existence for decades. The unemployment number that is reported is the one of active job seekers which stands at 6.7% even though 192,000 jobs were added. This is due to the movement of workers from on of the other categories such as those whose benefits have been exhausted or have given up searching. As the economy improves we will see the larger unemployment number shrink while the reported unemployment number may stay the same over time. If you look at the big picture you will see that there has been a great improvement in the the jobless numbers.
Lou Bernardo
Apr 6, 2014 5:49 PM CDT
The actual jobless rate, counting people whose unemployment benefits have ended and those who've given up looking for work, is actually 12% - 14%. Obama's vision is clouded by his inability to see truths.
NorCalHal
Apr 6, 2014 11:04 AM CDT
Call it a wash! I call it the FIFTIETH straight month of failure to create jobs - but then that's probably Bush's fault ! We need to increase jobs in the private sector NOT the federal and state governments. the pyramid is becomming upside down... with too few paying taxes and producing a product supporting the number of people paid by the taxes.... https://www.youtube.com/embed/xOAgT8L_BqQ