BSU Economist: U.S. Jobs Boost in March a Sign of Recovery

It’s no secret things have hardly been rosy in the U.S., or the world for that matter, when it comes to economic progress in the past two years. But Ball State University economist Michael Hicks sees light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, citing American job growth in March as a key indicator. A recent release from BSU asserts:

Reports that the American economy added about 216,000 jobs in March is solid evidence that a recovery is taking hold, says economist Michael Hicks, director of Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced this morning that businesses created 216,000 jobs last month, after adding 192,000 jobs in February. The past two months mark the fastest two-month pace of job creation since before the recession began. Factories, retailers, education, health care and an array of professional and financial services expanded payrolls.

"But it will take about two years with job growth at double this rate to nudge the unemployment rate back down toward the 5.5 percent level that might be the new normal," Hicks says. "The March numbers do indicate that the 50 cent run-up in gas prices hasn’t yet turned the economy backward, but most certainly, job growth would’ve been stronger at $3 a gallon prices.