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Unemployment rate declines to 8.2 percent, but…

By Doug Powers  •  April 6, 2012 10:10 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

The part of the latest jobs report that the Obama administration might single out is that the unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level in three years. They won’t, however, be trumpeting the reason for the drop.

There is the obligatory “unexpectedly” in the report as well:

Employers added 120,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, the smallest increase since October.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected nonfarm employment to increase 203,000 and the unemployment rate to hold at 8.3 percent.

The slowdown in employment growth last month likely reflected the fading boost from unseasonably warm winter weather.

The drop in the unemployment rate, to the lowest level since January 2009, reflected a drop in the labor force. The separate household survey, from which the jobless rate is derieved also showed a drop in employment.

The number of persons not in the labor force returned to an all time high, which chipped a tenth of a point off last month’s unemployment number (h/t Zero Hedge):


Hiring slowed in March as well:


Also, remain on high alert for QE3, though it appears less likely now:

The painfully slow recovery in the labor market is a concern for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who is keeping open the option of further monetary policy support for the economy if the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high.

The White House comments on the March jobs report: “There is more work to be done.”

I was afraid they were going to say that.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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