STEVE CHIOTAKIS: A couple of employment gauges out this morning point to continued slow growth in the nation’s job market. Private companies added fewer jobs than expected in April. And consultants Challenger, Gray and Christmas said today 36,000 job layoffs were announced last month. The lowest number of planned layoffs this year.
Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer is with us live from our Washington studio with the latest. Nancy, good morning.
NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Good morning.
CHIOTAKIS: I want to talk about the slow job growth first. What’s the news there, Nancy?
GENZER: Well, Steve it’s not great. The private sector created 179,000 jobs in April. That’s according to the ADP Employer Services report out this morning that analyzes payrolls. These are new jobs, and if we were in a decent economy, no one would be disappointed. But coming out of a recession we need much better jobs to drive down the unemployment rate. So, Steve we’re really treading water right now.
CHIOTAKIS: Treading water. All right, so why aren’t we making more progress in job creation?
GENZER: We’re facing a number of headwinds. Gas prices are up, consumer confidence is down. There are worries about the budget deficit. Public spending is being cut as you know. State and local governments and the federal government are laying off people.
Here’s John Challenger, the CEO of Challenger Gray and Christmas.
JOHN CHALLENGER: Those are harbingers of things to come. Think about all those areas. California has deep deficits, and the government is cutting. The federal government in Washington has seen spending drop almost 8% in the latest GDP report, and that portends more cuts.
We’ll know more on Friday, when the government unemployment numbers for April come out. Remember, Steve, that’s considered the most important economic statistic of the month.
CHIOTAKIS: Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer reporting live from our Washington bureau. Nancy, thanks.
GENZER: You’re welcome.
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