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The Labor Department’s March jobs report was released today indicating that job growth was less-than-expected. While the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.7%, a record number of 6.5 million Americans have been out of work for at least six months. The majority of forecasters predicted that there would be 200,000 new jobs in March. Unfortunately, their estimates were slightly too optimistic since only 162,000 jobs were created. In March, there was an increase of part-time or temporary workers that are unable to find full time employment. The underemployment rate rose from 16.8 in February to 16.9.
According to the report, March had the biggest boost in job growth in three years. While this sounds like great news, it’s important to note that the hiring for the 2010 census may have had large impact on the data. The Los Angeles Times confirms that the Labor Department’s data is inflated due to the census,
About 30% of the payroll increases last month, or 48,000 jobs, were positions created by the Census Bureau, which is expecting to hire hundreds of thousands more workers... Many of these jobs are part-time and will last only several weeks.
Since census workers do not increase the overall economic pie, the hiring of 48,000 census workers does not represent economic recovery since their pay is funded through taxpayers and the deficit. The private sector must see major improvements in order for America to recover from the current economic crisis. A more accurate report of US joblessness is the ADP jobs report released yesterday that showed that 23,000 private sector jobs were lost in March. The Labor Department's inflated job report sounds like positive news; however, the hiring of workers funded by taxpayers will not end the current prolonged recession.