United States: Unemployment unexpectedly drops in March
April 1, 2011
In March, the economy added 216,000 jobs, after a revised increase of 194,000 in February. The March reading was driven by private sector hiring, while government jobs fell. As a result, the unemployment rate fell for a fourth consecutive month to 8.8% in March. Market analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain steady at February's 8.9%. Private sector hiring boosted the March result, adding 230,000 jobs following the strong 240,000 rise tallied in February. Public sector jobs, on the other hand, followed on February's 40,000 drop to decrease 14,000 jobs in March. The economy lost an accumulated 7.4 million jobs between December 2007 ? the official start of the recession ? and its official end in June 2009. The tentative economic recovery observed since then saw just 245 thousand jobs added, indicating that the labour market conditions remain notably softer than past recoveries.