MIAMI (CBS4) – New numbers from the Labor Department could help spur more job growth in South Florida and across the nation. The nation’s unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March.
The Labor Department said the economy added 216,000 jobs in March which help offset layoffs by local and state governments. February and March were the strongest two months of hiring since before the recession began.
Private employers added more than 200,000 jobs for a second straight month, which was the first time that’s happened since 2006. In the past four months, the unemployment rate has dropped a full percentage point, which is the sharpest drop-off since 1983.
Economists said employers will probably keep adding jobs at the same pace for the rest of 2011 which would generate about 2.5 million new jobs.
But, that is only roughly one-third of the jobs that were wiped out during the Great Recession.
Still, economists warned that if the people who have stopped looking for jobs during the Great Recession suddenly begin to start looking for jobs, the rate will rise again.
Plus, as state and local governments begin to layoff more workers, it will also add to the unemployment rate.