April 6, 2007 (Jobs Byte)
Unemployment Edges Down With Strong Job Growth
Jobs Byte by Dean Baker
For Immediate Release: April 6, 2007
Contact: Lynn Erskine, 202-293-5380 x115
Productivity growth has averaged less than 1.6 percent since 2004.
The establishment survey showed the economy adding 180,000 jobs in
March, pushing the unemployment rate down to 4.4 percent. Upward
revisions of 30,000 to the prior two months data bring average job
growth over the last three months to 152,000.
The job growth was heavily concentrated in the construction (56,000),
retail trade (35,900), and education and health sectors (54,000), which
together accounted for almost the entire 157,000 increase in private
sector employment. The jump in construction employment was a bounce
back from a reported loss of 61,000 jobs in February. The January
employment numbers were inflated by unusually good weather;
construction employment now stands 29,000 above its December level.