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AFL-CIO Now

March Job Growth Weaker than Expected

The U.S. economy added 120,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 8.2 percent, according to the Labor Department report released this morning. Economists had predicted stronger job growth, in line with recent months when 200,000 or more jobs were created.

Employment grew in manufacturing, food and drink service establishments and health care, but was down in retail.

In March, 12.7 million workers remained jobless, including 5.3 million who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said yesterday in a statement, “far too many men and women who want to work still cannot find good jobs.”

We believe America can continue to be the greatest nation on earth. But we simply cannot afford to double down on the failed economic policies that caused the Great Recession, which is what the budget plan passed by the Republican House majority would do....Paul Ryan should answer to how he justifies slashing Social Security and Medicare at a time when we instead need to build a strong middle class. Our priority must be making sure that everyone who wants to work can get a job and on investing in our future, from infrastructure to education to retirement security and more. Reconnecting wages to productivity growth and restoring tax fairness are key to sustained recovery and shared prosperity. This is the policy agenda that the right wing Congress continues to block.

Unemployment rates for different race, ethnic and age groups changed little in March and continued to range widely, with 7.3 percent of white workers out of jobs, compared with 14 percent of African Americans and 10.3 percent of Latinos. Teenagers had a jobless rate of 25 percent.

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