New jobless numbers indicate stall in recovery

(KGO)
April 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Disappointing job numbers show the economic recovery was slower than expected in March.

More people went to work. 120,000 jobs were added last month, but that figure is about half of what the Obama administration anticipated. The president is spinning the numbers as best he can, saying that even with last month's numbers, we're continuing to see improvement.

While the March job numbers suggest that hiring has stalled, the unemployment rate did dip to 8.2 percent. "We welcome today's news that our businesses created another 121,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate ticked down," the president said. Most economists predicted 200,000 jobs would be added last month. Led by the auto industry, manufacturing continues to add jobs but in California, the auto industry is non-existent and construction jobs are still lagging as is the entire economy.

"Unemployment in California is about 10.9 percent and has been in double digits for over three years now," says Sylvia Alegretto, a labor economist at the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at UC Berkeley. She says at the current rate, it will be 7 to 10 more years before California is back to pre-recession employment. "We don't see a lot of relief for the labor market in sight. We're adding jobs, but the pace of job growth is far too slow to really move the needle on unemployment at the quick pace that we need it to move," she says.

The New York Stock Exchange was closed Friday, but the Dow has been hovering above 13,000, near where it was before the recession. Nick Carr of Point Richmond explains it this way: "People are hiring. Yahoo just laid off, but other firms are hiring. So, I think the upper-educated, skilled people do good and the other ones are not."


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