Sounds like news of an improving economy, but the numbers tell a different story. Job growth is positive, but not nearly enough, and just shy of a half million people dropped out of the work force.
The new jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics came in well under even pessimistic expectations. The US economy only added 88,000 jobs in March, while nearly a half-million people left the work force:
Nonfarm payroll employment edged up in March (+88,000), and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment grew in professional and business services and in health care but declined in retail trade. …
The civilian labor force declined by 496,000 over the month, and the labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 63.3 percent. The employment- population ratio, at 58.5 percent, changed little. (See table A-1.)
Needless to say, this is quite a stinker. The jobs added fall far short of the 125K-150K needed just to keep up with population growth. The exodus from the workforce is even worse. The new civilian workforce participation rate of 63.3% is the lowest seen in almost 35 years, since the fall of 1978 — an era not exactly known for a robust American economy.
It didn’t take long for Obama apologists to blame the sequester: