Employers added 162,000 jobs last month, and employment numbers in the previous two months were revised upward. Nationwide, the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent.
. . .Nearly a third of the gains came from temporary hiring for the 2010 Census, which will continue over the next couple of months. The report was also complicated by a rebound from weather-related work stoppages in February.
. . . Because so many of the jobs created were part-time jobs for people who really wanted full-time work, the broader measure of unemployment and underemployment ticked up, to 16.9 percent, from 16.8 percent the previous month. And the number of people out of work for at least 27 weeks increased by 414,000 last month, to 6.5 million.
The economy needs to add somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 just to stay even with the number of new people entering the labor force.