Labor Department claims a gain of 162,000 jobs. It looks like 88,000 were temp jobs for an actual loss of about 76,000 jobs.
It looks like the estimate based on the ADP report for March was wrong and that, according to the Labor Department (as reported at CNN Money), the U.S. packed on 162,000 new jobs in March. Of course, relative to population growth, it's only a gain of 12,000 jobs, which is certainly much better than the large losses we have suffered recently. However, 48,000 of those jobs were temporary Census Bureau jobs. So, the real number is closer to 114,000 (or a loss of 38,000 relative to population growth). Still, it does seem like good news. I had previously predicted another month of losses and apparently I was wrong (for the first time in, oh, about two years).
Despite all the negative aspects to the employment report, including average hourly earnings falling 0.1%, the mainstream media trumpeted it as more evidence that 'happy days are here again' (the title of a song from the Great Depression). Coverage was filled with statements such as, "The increase is the latest sign that the economic recovery is sustainable and healing in the job market is beginning." Government hiring of census workers and more health care jobs (many of which are also government related) does not indicate a sustainable economic recovery. Instead, it indicates sustainable government spending to try to make a recovery look like it is taking place.