As the country continues its efforts to climb out of a dismal economic hole, the monthly jobs report has had some encouraging news as off late. For much of the first quarter, the signs have been especially encouraging, showing consistent improvement in employment rates. March’s rendition of the numbers, though, appear to have fallen short of expectations.
According to the report released by the U.S. Department of Labor on Friday, overall payroll employment increased by 88,000 in March, which made little change to the country’s 7.6 percent unemployment rate. Going into detailed markets, the report said that healthcare, as well as professional and business services saw growth over the period. Meanwhile, there was a decline in retail.
While the numbers do show some growth, they fall far short of what many thought would be a solid month, considering other positive signs such as a rising stock market. According to Politico, this is the first report that has shown the effect of the U.S. government sequester – and the across-the-board cuts that came with it.
“We all overshot it,” Austan Goolsbee, former advisor to President Barack Obama, said on CNBC. “This is a punch to the gut. I mean, this is not a good number.”
Politico went further into the sequester’s effects on the job market, citing a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projection that predicts the cuts will cost Americans 750,000 jobs this year and bring economic growth back down to 0.6 percent. The negative outlook has apparently spooked investors, with the stock market dipping on Friday, following the release of the report.
With uncertainty over the economy potentially rising again, it’s more important than ever that companies get their payroll and management in order. The best method to do so is by investing in HR software solutions that can keep your business running efficiently.