Jobs in March increased by 216,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent from 8.9 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. March is the third straight month the number of jobs has risen and the boost in jobs shows the jobs recovery “unmistakably gaining traction,” according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
In a bitter battle late last year, Republicans in Congress filibustered an extension of the emergency unemployment insurance (UI) program for more than 1.4 million long-term jobless workers—and they didn’t approve the bill until they won an extension of Bush tax cuts for the rich.
The new year started with better but not great news on the jobs front. The latest figures from the U.S. Department of Labor released this morning show that unemployment dropped from 9.8 percent in November to 9.4 percent in December.