By Isaac Cohen*
The creation of 192,000 nonfarm new jobs in March was received with a sigh of relief, because the severe winter could be blamed for the weaker job numbers for January and February. Last March figure is consistent with the average of 183,000 monthly job creation of 2013.
All new jobs in March were created in the private sector, with no new government hiring. In all, last month, over 116 million persons were employed by the private sector, slightly better than the previous peak of 115.9 million reached in 2008, at the start of the Great Recession. Meanwhile, since 2007, government hiring, including local, state and federal decreased by 535,000. Therefore, the private sector has regained the 8.8 million jobs it lost in the recession, while the number of persons employed by government is the lowest since 2005.
By sectors, in March among the most dynamic were professional and business services adding 57,000 new jobs and construction 19,000. By contrast, during the last 12 months, the federal government has lost 85,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate, in March, remained unchanged at 6.7 percent, equivalent to 10.5 million unemployed persons. Out of this total, 3.7 million persons have been unemployed for more than six months. However, after last December, unemployment insurance benefits expired for 2.7 million persons unemployed during more than 27 weeks.
*International analyst and consultant. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio. Former Director, UNECLAC.