Despite strong recent gains, the U.S. job market is not bringing in many new workers.
According to a March 8th report by the Bureau of Labor statistics, the economy added 236,000 new jobs in February 2013,a higher gain than what was expected by most analysts. The news, though widely hailed as positive, did not inspire broad confidence about the overall trajectory of the economy when it came to employment.
University of California at Berkley economics professor Brad DeLong said that despite rising jobs numbers, the employment to population ratio – the number that tracks the number of people who are actually working against the number of people who are in the population – has remained exactly where it was in 2012 in February at 58.6.
"In fact, note that the employment-to-population ratio today is exactly where it was three-and-a-half years ago, at the recession trough," said DeLong
Forbes reports that the number of people with full time jobs actually fell by 212,000 in February 2013. The net gain in jobs came as the result of 325,000 new part-time jobs added during the same time period.
These numbers, combined with a flat national employment rate, have led analysts to conclude that most of the jobs added last month went to people who were already employed.
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