Masters winner Bubba Watson's victory over Louis Oosthuizen on
the second playoff hole at Augusta National (despite the South
African's early double eagle) gave Americans something to smile
about after receiving a bit of depressing jobs news going into
Nonfarm job growth slowed in March as only 120,000 jobs were
added in the month, which is less than half the 246,000 average
over the last three months. Still the unemployment rate dipped
slightly from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent largely due to people
leaving the job
, according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics
While the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed
people (12.7 million) were little changed from February to March,
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis appeared optimistic in
on the figures.
"For 25 consecutive months, we've registered private
job growth. Some months we are seeing tremendous job gains, while
other months we are seeing more modest gains. But the trend line
is clear: Our economy is growing, and our recovery is durable,"
she said. "Since this president took office, we've added more
than 4 million jobs to an economy that was bleeding 800,000 a
month under the last administration. That's a noteworthy
While there wasn't too much to be thrilled about in the jobs
report, healthcare jobs continued to grow, with 26,000 positions
being added last month.
In addition, manufacturing continued its resurgence by adding
37,000 jobs in March. Solis noted in her comments that since
February 2012, manufacturers in the U.S. have created nearly
The manufacturing sector's strong March was shown in more than
just the jobs report, as earlier this month the
Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Managers Index
"The PMI registered 53.4 percent, an increase of 1 percentage
point from February's reading of 52.4 percent, indicating
expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 32nd consecutive
month," said Bradley J. Holcomb, who chairs the Institute for
Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
Holcomb added that a number of respondents said that they
believe demand and sales will increase over the coming
Of the 18 manufacturing industries accounted for in the index,
only two - Computer & Electronic Products and Chemical
Products - reported contraction in March.