April 6, 2012- Just 120,000 new jobs were added in the U.S. in March. That is only 50% of what the economy produced in February. Unemployment fell by one tenth of one percent to 8.2% said a Labor Department report on Friday.
Analysts had estimated the economy would add 205,000 jobs during March. The private sector add over 121,000 jobs during March, compared to the 233,000 it added in February. A number of economists had predicted that March would mark the four straight month of sound employment growth. In the last few weeks, statistics had suggested that the number of jobs were increasing, although 12 million who are unemployed was quite a large number.
Now economists are saying that some a part of the new strength in hiring was due to seasonal hires. ADP the processor of payrolls reported earlier in the week that private sector had gains in March of 209,000. Service sector jobs added in March equaled 164,000.
A weekly report from the Labor Department also pointed to encouraging numbers on Thursday. It showed that filings for first time unemployment benefits dropped to 357,000 at the end of March.
Analysts say the real test will come in the second quarter; trying to maintain new job hiring above the 200,000 level each months.