Unemployment Hits Two Year Low

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Friday, April 1, 2011 - 3:05pm

Hundreds of thousands of jobs added last month.

The latest jobs numbers are in and for the second month in a row the economy added more than 200,000.

The government says unemployment fell to a two year low of 8.8 percent in March, spurred by 216,000 new jobs.

"Once we get to around 200 thousand jobs a month, we're at take-off speed," says University of Maryland economist Peter Morici.

Many of those jobs were in the private sector- professional services, manufacturing, hospitality and healthcare all adding jobs.

Over the last four months, unemployment has fallen a full percentage point, the sharpest drop since 1983, but behind the numbers some sobering statistics.

Many who lost jobs have simply stopped looking for work.

The rate would be 15.7 percent if you counted them.

"I'm not sure anyone should be popping champagne corks over this. We've lowered the hurdle so low that it now looks good," says Mesirow Financial chief economist Diane Swonk.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner was quick to criticize claiming excessive government spending is creating uncertainty, saying Democrats and the White House "don't get it".

Many economists predict employers will keep up the hiring pace for the rest of this year.

That would add up to about 2.5 million of the 7.5 million positions lost during the recession.
 

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