New Fox News piece: Unemployment Numbers Are a Mixed Bag

My new piece starts this way:

The new unemployment numbers released today are decidedly mixed news. On the one hand, the unemployment rate remained constant at 9.7 percent in March and the share of the workforce taking part-time jobs because they couldn't find full time unemployment rose by a tenth of the percentage point.

For the second straight month, the broadest measure of unemployment rose, this time to 16.9 percent. This measure includes people who have left the labor force because they can't find a job as well as part-time workers who couldn't find a full-time job.

On the other hand, the Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of households shows that 264,000 people got jobs. Yet, the number unemployed also rose by 134,000. So how can you have both more people getting jobs and being unemployed? There is a simple reason for it. Over the last year, a lot of workers got discouraged, stopped looking for a job, and were no longer counted as being in the labor force. . . .

UPDATE: Apparently, the Census only hired 48,000 of the 100,000 they were supposed to hire in March. That implies a significant built in increase for next month in the number of people working for the government. It there hadn't been that 48,000 job increase, the number of government jobs would have declined by about 10,000. These are short term jobs, and it will be interesting to see what happens when they end.

Some other info on unemployment is here.

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