The United States added 216,000 new jobs in March, mostly in the private sector job market, driving the unemployment rate down to 8.8 percent.
Not only did the unemployment rate fall, but the US economy added 192,000 jobs in February. But economists view the numbers differently.
The US economy grew at a relatively healthy 3.2 percent annual rate in the final quarter of 2010, the Commerce Department reported Friday. That is an improvement from a 2.6 percent rate in the third quarter. But to many Americans, it's hard to tell if anything is really better. Buried in the new report are clues to why that is – and what might happen to the economy in the year ahead. Here are five things that the government’s preliminary report on gross domestic product reveals about the health of the economy.
The US economy grew 2 percent in the third quarter, the Commerce Department reports. But imports limited the benefit to the GDP from increased consumer and business spending.
Private sector businesses added just 41,000 new jobs in May, leading Republicans to criticize Obama's economic plan. But analysts see a few bright spots.
The Dow average was up by more than 340 points as of early Monday afternoon. Investors were relieved to see European leaders agree on a Greece debt plan.
Economists see some optimism in the unemployment rate as well as in other employment data. But overall, jobs are still being lost.
US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at a 5.6 percent rate last quarter, the biggest economic expansion in six years. But economists say that doesn't augur a growth in jobs any time soon.
Consumer spending increased 1.3 percent in August, but a key reason was the 'cash for clunkers' program. Also, initial claims for unemployment rose last week, but the four-week average for claims fell slightly.
Though problems remain for housing and jobs, the Fed's Open Market Committee sees further improvement in financial markets in recent weeks.