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Five Reasons the U.S. Hiring Slowdown in March Might Signal a Weakening Job Market

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (04/09/12) Paul Wiseman

Although economists attributed the drop in hiring in March to
unseasonably warm weather in January and February that prompted
construction firms and other employers to hire workers earlier
than they would have otherwise, some observers believe there are
reasons to be concerned about the job market. They believe
economic growth is not strong enough to sustain the average
246,000 jobs added per month from December to February, with a
2.5% anticipated economic growth rate only able to sustain the
addition of 140,000 jobs per month. They also worry about rising
gas prices and the fact that workers’ hours are being cut and
that incomes are not keeping up with inflation. Furthermore, they
point out that millions of Americans have stopped looking for
jobs and that the economy still has not recovered all of the jobs
lost since the recession. Around 8.8 million jobs were lost
between January 2008 and February 2010, but just 3.6 million jobs
have been regained since then.