Some good news for everyone out there looking for a job: unemployment fell to a two-year low in March, down to 8.8%.
While an 8.8% percent unemployment rate is still nothing to celebrate, it is a clear indication that we are headed in the right direction. Companies hired new employees at the fastest two-month pace since before the recession began.
According to a Labor Department report, 216,000 new jobs were created during the month, slightly higher than the 201,000 new jobs that ADP reported earlier this week.
New jobs were added across a wide range of industries, including factories, retailers, education, health care and an array of professional and financial services.
One area of weakness was with local governments, which laid off 15,000 employees. But this was more than offset by a strong month of hiring by private companies, which added 230,000 employees during the month. The month's strong hiring comes on the heels of a very strong February, during which private companies added 240,000 new jobs.
Analysts are currently expecting that hiring will remain roughly at the same pace throughout the rest of the year, which would result in around 2.5 million new jobs during the year.
While we still have a ways to go before unemployment reaches a comfortable level, it does appear as though we are headed in the right direction.