Jobs, Unemployment Both Increase???

How can that be? Lies, damn lies, and statistics, according to a phrase popularized by Mark Twain. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national economy gained 162,000 jobs in March, 2010, specifically nonfarm payroll employment. The unemployment rate stayed steady at 9.7%. Because more people were thought to be looking for a job(less discouraged now, or the weather is better), those 162,000 net new jobs didn’t change the ratio of those looking for a job divided by those with a job. In March 2009, we lost nearly 800,000 jobs. A year later, we gain 162,000.

Employment lags the economy. People work more hours when business begins to pick up, and they wait until they have some confidence in the upturn before hiring a new worker. We seem to be at that point now.