Hiring slowed sharply last month as the United States economy added only 88,000 jobs – its worst performance in nine months and less than one-third the number of positions created in February. In order to keep pace with the growth in population, the economy must create at least 130,000 new jobs a month.
Analysts were projecting an increase of 190,000 positions.
Making matters worse the country’s workforce continued to shrink – with the widely watched labor participation rate sliding from 63.5 percent to 63.3 percent. That’s its lowest level since May 1979. When U.S. President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, the labor participation rate was 65.7 percent. When George W. Bush took office in January 2001, it was 67.2 percent.
Technically the nation’s unemployment rate fell from 7.7 percent to 7.6 percent – although that decline was due almost exclusively to Americans dropping out of the workforce.
“Never has the lie of the improving Obama economy been more starkly revealed than in this March unemployment report, where the consequences of the destruction of the American workforce by policies that promote government dependence over work are hidden behind a statistical drop in the percentage of workers who are unemployed,” said Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government.
He’s absolutely right.
Wilson added that “663,000 Americans dropped out of the workforce last month, 206,000 fewer Americans were employed (and) 290,000 more Americans were unemployed.”
In fact according to the website Zero Hedge, if you assume a normal labor participation rate increase the nation’s real unemployment rate is 11.6 percent – up from 11.3 percent in February.
The only bit of good news? Job stats for January and February were upwardly adjusted by 61,000 positions. Of course as we noted last month, many of the jobs created in the current “recovery” are part-time positions – and many of those positions are being created as people try to find second jobs to boost their income levels.