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Bill Radke: One of the most closely-watched economic reports of the month comes out in a few hours — the government’s employment numbers for March. The labor market has been awful, but this morning, we could finally see job growth. Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman reports.
Mitchell Hartman: Following a small loss of jobs in February, as many as 200,000 jobs may have been added in March. Dig down, though, and the number may turn out to be considerably less impressive.
Two temporary factors inflated March job-growth: government hiring for the Census. These are short-term jobs. And a one-time hiring rebound from February’s bad winter weather.
Heidi Shierholz: The number that we really will look at is how many jobs are private employers adding. What is the non-Census, non-snow effect in March.
Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute thinks the private-sector job engine is inching into gear, but very slowly.
Shierholz: There were likely maybe 25,000 jobs added. That’s good, but it is not the healthy jobs growth we need to start filling in the gap in the labor market.
That yawning job gap now totals more than 8 million. Filling it will require hundreds of thousands of permanent new jobs month after month. Without them, economists predict the U-. .unemployment rate, now at 9.7 percent, is likely to stay stubbornly high.
I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.
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