Why the Jobs Market May Be Losing Steam

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The stock market dropped Monday on the heels of a disappointing jobs report that showed the U.S. economy created only 120,000 jobs in March.

That number is about half of what's been reported in previous months.

Some economists blame the dip on unseasonably warm weather, saying it caused companies to hire workers earlier in the year than usual.

Others believe it's a sign the job market is weakening. They noted several major concerns:

  • The economy hasn't been growing fast enough to sustain new job growth.
  • Gas prices are up 65 cents this year, hurting consumers' budgets.
  • Companies are cutting hours and shrinking their employees' incomes.
  • The job market might not be as strong as numbers suggest because millions of Americans have simply given up looking for work.
  • The economy still has a long way to go to recover the 8.8 million jobs lost.

"We're doing better than a total slog," Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, said. "But we are not getting the really robust job growth we need."

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