April 2nd, 2010
08:36 AM ET
12 years ago

Unemployment rate stays at 9.7 percent, 162,000 jobs gained

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/31/art.econpoll.gi.jpg caption="Unemployment remained at 9.7 percent last month."]New York - (CNNMoney.com) - The economy had its biggest jump in jobs in three years in March, according to a government report released Friday.

The Labor Department said the economy gained 162,000 jobs in the month, compared to a revised reading of a 14,000 job loss in February. That makes March only the third month since the start of 2008 that employers did not cut payrolls. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a gain of 184,000 jobs.

While the news was positive, there were a number of short-term factors that inflated the reading, including an addition of 48,000 by the Census Bureau as it geared up for the once-in-a-decade headcount of the U.S. population. March's count was also bolstered by seasonal factors - February's numbers had been depressed by temporary job losses related to severe winter storms last month.

Still the addition was good news for an economy that has suffered a net loss of 8.2 million jobs since the start of 2008, a month after the official start of the recession.

January's reading was revised from a loss to a gain of 14,000 jobs, and February's job loss was also narrowed in the revision. The only other month with even a modest job gain was November 2009, when there was a net gain of 64,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate held steady 9.7% in February, matching economist expectations.

Filed under: Economy
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. SpingGambit

    Without turning this into a political debate today, ANY month that sees an increase of 162,000 jobs is a good month in America!

    April 2, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. gt

    if congress wants to do something about jobs,,, cut tax breaks for these companies who out source jobs over seas ,, stop these insane bonus for the c e o ,'s, ...

    April 2, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. jbakaregit

    We've come a long way since losing nearly 800,000 jobs/month starting in 2009.

    Good job Obama and the Dems. Please pass a WPA or CCC program that puts even more people back to work.

    April 2, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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