The Labor Department delivered expected good news on the jobs front this morning: Employers added 162,000 jobs in March, the biggest monthly increase in 3 years. The gain, however, wasn't big enough to change the unemployment rate, which remained at 9.7% for the third straight month.
The increase in jobs came in below forecasts of 190,000 and includes 48,000 temporary workers for the US Census. Private employers added 123,000 jobs, the most since May 2007. Still, more Americans said they were working part-time, even though they preferred full-time work. When they and discouraged workers who have given up searching for jobs are included, the "underemployment" rate ticked up to 16.9% from 16.8%.