Econintersect: Econintersect analyzed the March 2011 jobs picture in an analysis article Looking Forward Into BLS Jobs Numbers.
Overall the jobs expansion is considered only moderate, and well below the recovery and expansion seen after previous recessions. This opinion is shared by the Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) William C. Dunkelberg who issued the following statement:
“The positive job creation observed in February was repeated again in March (sigh of relief here), confirming that the number of net new jobs reported on Main Street was decidedly positive. Employment gains have not been this good since 2007.
“The percent of owners reporting hard to fill job openings was unchanged at 15 percent, supporting the modest reductions in the unemployment rate recently observed. Unfortunately, the net percent of owners planning to create new jobs (increasing the total number of workers employed) lost three points, falling to a net 2 percent of all firms, low, but still 12 points better than the recession low reading of negative 10 percent reached in March 2009.
“Although the economy now produces more output that it did at its peak in 2007, it uses 6.8 million fewer workers to do it. This has resulted in good productivity numbers (output per worker) but stubbornly high levels of unemployment. A number of factors have contributed to this, including the strong growth in manufacturing (uses relatively fewer workers to make output), and the absence of a million new housing starts (millions of jobs) that would normally be started this year.”