March Job Figures Down From February

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(CNN) - Jobs were added in March, but economists expected more.  The Labor Department says employers added 120-thousand jobs last month.  That's a significant slowdown from February.

CNN's Christine Romans has a breakdown of what it means.

Since when is a drop in the unemployment rate disappointing?

Well, when the jobs created are only 120-thousand over the past three months, more than 246-thousand jobs have been created on average so 120-thousand jobs created in march was disappointing because basically it shows you the pace of hiring is starting to slow.

Let’s take a look at where the jobs are.

You can see that we had a problem with retail jobs, about 34-thousand jobs were lost in March and that was a bit of a surprise because retail sales have been pretty good.  When you take a look at other things you can see that manufacturing had 37-thousand jobs created.

That’s an interesting story lately because manufacturing has been slowly coming back, but it isn't enough to eat into the big, big mountain of jobs in manufacturing over the past few years.

Let’s broaden it out and take a bigger picture look at what this means for the trend and what it means for politics.

This is the pace of job creation lost since the last few months of the bush administration all the way through till today.  You can see this big huge drought of jobs, hundreds of thousands of jobs lost during the period.

More than eight million from the peak of employment to the trough and this is the trend of job creation since then.

You can see that there has been slow and steady job creation and a bit of a faltering here.

Clearly, you want to see more consistent jobs gains than this, but economists are saying you've got seven more jobs reports until the election, a lot can happen between now and then.

Christine Romans, CNN, New York.