Written by Nicole Porter
Last updated on May 03, 2013 @ 7:08PM
Created on May 03, 2013 @ 6:41PM
Experts were predicting that our country's economy was destined for a spring slowdown; but it turns out, those so called experts, might have been wrong.
According to the April jobs report that was released by the labor department Friday morning, 165,000 jobs were added throughout the country. That was about 25,000 higher than what economists predicted and it was an improvement over the previous month.
The even bigger story came from large changes to earlier numbers. It's a common practice for the labor department to revise its data for the two prior months, and this time, those revisions showed an additional 114,000 jobs were added over February and March alone.
Previously, March hiring had looked particularly weak, with only 88,000 jobs added that month. Now, the labor department says 138,000 jobs were added in March.
February job growth, which had already looked solid, now looks even stronger. About 332,000 jobs were added in February, making it the strongest month for hiring since the census hired temporary workers in 2010.
If you were worried about the economy slowing down this spring, experts say this should go a long way toward soothing your fears. As with everything in Washington nowadays, the picture may not be as pretty as some officials would like you to believe.
Here's why economists were worried in the first place. Steep government spending cuts, a retail sales slump, a slow manufacturing sector and Europe's recession pointed to problems for the US this spring. Once this report was released Friday morning, those fears seemed to disappear. Stocks jumped, in fact, for the first time ever, the DOW topped 15,000 points and the S&P 500 climbed above 1,600.
Some lawmakers aren't so convinced. Many of them, like Republican Shelley Moore Capito, want to know how many jobless Americans are actually being counted in the unemployment figures. The unemployment rate only includes people who have looked for work in the prior four weeks. In other words, workers who have given up on the job market are not counted.
Only about 63% of the civilian population over the age of 16 is either working or looking for a job. That's actually the lowest labor force participation rate since may of 1979.
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