April 4, 2014
The economy created 192,000 jobs in March, down from 197,000 in February and still well below the pace needed to lower underemployment to respectable levels. Those mediocre results are consistent with a broadly underperforming economy.
Manufacturing employment lost 1,000 jobs and government stalled. Other than construction, which gained 19,000 employees, most new positions were in lower paying activities like leisure and hospitality, support activities in health care, retail, and temporary business services.
Hourly earnings fell, indicating good jobs continue to be scarce.
In 2013, GDP growth was only 1.9 percent, thanks to the $200 billion January tax increase and federal spending cuts, but after a slow first quarter, most economists expect the pace to accelerate to 3 percent by the second half of this year.
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