Friday, the Labor Department reported the economy added 216,000 jobs in March. After adding 194,000 jobs in February, this indicates the economy is finally accomplishing momentum. First quarter growth will likely be a bit higher than 3 percent.
Unemployment ticked a notch lower to 8.8 percent on the strength of jobs growth. Unlike past months, this improvement could not be attributed to adults leaving the labor force of emigration.
These gains are in sharp contrast to weaker gains the previous 13 months, and largely resulted from stronger, potentially self-sustaining private sector jobs growth.
As measured by GDP, the economic recovery began in July 2009; however, the economy did not begin adding jobs until January 2010, and gained only 76,000 jobs a month through January 2011. Too many of those jobs gains were created by stimulus spending, temporary business services, and health care and social services, which are heavily subsidized by federal and state governments. Job gains in the core private sector—private employment less temporary business services, and health care social services and temporary business services--averaged only 47,000 a month.