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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

April 2, 2010 at 9:50 AM

The good news and bad news on the employment front; what’s your situation?

The good news/bad news on unemployment is that the economy did indeed see its biggest job gains in three years. But more than a quarter of the improvement came from temporary Census jobs, and another quarter were temp help services jobs. Although corporate America is sitting on more cash than at any time in history, it is not doing much hiring for good, full-time positions.

The official jobless rate stayed at 9.7 percent because 414,000 workers entered or re-entered the job market. The real number, adding in the underemployed and discouraged workers who want a job, is nearly 17 percent. Male unemployment is 2 points higher than female unemployment. For people with less than a high-school diploma, the rate is 10.8 percent vs. 4.8 percent for college grads. Construction joblessness is a staggering 25 percent.

The 162,000 jobs added in March is a little better than the 125,000 needed to keep up with the natural growth of the labor force but not nearly enough to begin digging out of the hole of the Great Recession. It will take 11 million jobs to return to the pre-recession unemployment rate.

Your job situationpoll

The Back Story: Boeing is among the large companies losing a tax deduction because of the health-care reform bill, in this case $150 million. But as the Web site Think Progress reports, Boeing’s tax rate over the past four years averaged 3.2 percent, despite the nominal 35 percent corporate rate. In 2009, the company received $132 million as a refund. The year before, with $2.7 billion in earnings, it paid $44 million in federal taxes.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

A leveling off

That’s the best that can be said

About the jobs rate

Comments | More in Aerospace/Boeing, Jobs/Unemployment

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