April 6, 2012 by David K. Sutton
‘Only’ 120,000 Jobs Added In March, But Public Sector Job Losses Continue To Shrink
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 120,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in March. This is the 15th straight month of job gains when combining public and private sector. It is the 25th straight month of private sector job growth. The unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% to 8.2% but this was largely due to people dropping out of the labor market. The breakdown for March is 121,000 private sector jobs added and 1000 public sector jobs lost.
The March job numbers are down from three straight months of 200,000+ job growth. The headlines today make it sound as if one month of data means a trend reversal. Sorry people, but one month of data means nothing if it doesn’t correspond to any larger trends. It’s simply an anomaly until such time (if ever) there is more data to prove otherwise.
Even if this jobs report was less than stellar, one really positive takeaway is that only 1000 government jobs were lost. This part of the jobs reported has been under-reported for years now. At the same time that we’ve seen the economy grow and millions of private sector jobs created, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in the public sector. It’s nice to see the public sector job loss numbers continue to shrink, and unlike the overall March numbers, the public sector numbers are part of a greater trend, and it’s worth paying attention to.