The US Added 192,000 Jobs In March, But Black Unemployment Still Above 12 Percent
The US economy added 192,000 jobs for the month of March, a positive outcome that many attribute to better weather, which had a positive impact on construction (which added 19,000) and other areas. We also noticed a huge uptick — 30,000 jobs — in food services and drinking, indicating that better weather is getting more people out to restaurants and bars. And with more jobs and more money to spend, it could be impacting hiring.
Health care and business services were also strong areas.
Experts had been hoping for 200,000 jobs (we’re sure the unemployed were also hoping for more), but the result is in keeping with the average for the beginning of 2014. With these added jobs, the unemployment rate still holds steady at 6.7 percent. The New York Times has two useful graphs that shows both the change in the number of jobs added over the past two years and the effect on the unemployment rate.
“More people found work and more people joined the labor force,” notes The Wall Street Journal, though it’s important to keep in mind that those jobs were added in the private sector. Government hiring remained flat.
“Overall, the latest payroll numbers suggest the economy is gaining some traction and could be poised for faster growth in the coming months,” the article continued.
It’s also important to remember that 7.4 million people who are working part-time would rather be working full-time. The number of long-term unemployed (people unemployed 27 weeks or more) totals 3.7 million.
Equally critical is the fact that African-American unemployment is 12.4 percent, almost double the national average. That’s actually up .4 percent from last month and up from the low of 11.9 percent in December. So while the jobs situation is slowly improving, the state of things for the black community is still bleak. And the jobs situation has to improve for everyone if we’re really going to consider it a positive.