News Column

Job Growth Lags Despite Unemployment Drop

April 5, 2013

The rate dropped from 7.7 per cent in February. Growth was reported in the professional, business and health care fields, but declined in retail trade and government employment at the federal, state and local level.

Non-farm payrolls grew by a disappointing 88,000, according to a separate survey of employers. That figure was far less than analysts had expected. It compared to non-farm job growth of 268,000 in February and an average of 169,000 per month over the past 12 months.

One reason the unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 per cent was the decline in the size of the labour force by about 496,000 people, meaning fewer people were looking for work.

Analysts say that many of the new jobs are in the low-paying service industries, while well-paying middle income jobs continue to disappear.

Sarah Bloom Raskin, a member of the Federal Reserve Board, in a speech last month noted how the loss of middle income jobs is affecting the overall economy and limiting the ability of people to obtain "affordable, sustainable credit."

"Certainly, the pace of recovery in employment has improved, but it's important to look at the types of jobs that are being created because those jobs will directly affect the fortunes and challenges of households and neighborhoods as well as the course of the recovery," she said.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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