The Department of Labor monthly jobs report showed an addition of 162,000 new jobs to the market last month, indicating perhaps the first signs of a turnaround of employment numbers in the U.S. However, this was not enough to move the national unemployment rate, which remained at 9.7% for March.

The Recovery Act

Statements by both President Obama and the Department of Labor (DoL) attributed the increase in numbers of jobs to the actions taken by the administration to get the economy back on track. The DoL specifically mentioned the Recovery Act, which may have raised employment by between 1 and 2.1 million jobs through the end of 2009, according to Congressional Budget Office numbers.

Why No Change?

One of the reasons that these new jobs were unable to create a significant change in the unemployment rate could be that 48,000 of those jobs were temporary positions created by the government for the Census Bureau. While a growth in government jobs is still a good sign, it could still be a while before that growth trickles down to private sector employment, where it would mean a more significant economic recovery has taken place.

Perhaps some additional job creation will come out of Obama’s new offshore drilling plan. However, until the job growth moves into the private sector and ramps up enough to budge the seemingly resistant, near 10% unemployment rate, very few of the critics of this administration will be satisfied.

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