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

(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."

Job seekers attend a marijuana industry job fair hosted by Open Vape, a vaporizer company, in Downtown Denver, Thursday March 13, 2014.
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)
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