Job slump not so bad by comparison, unless you need work
WASHINGTON — Two straight months of disappointing job growth have raised fears that the U.S. economy is stalling for the third year in a row.
But don’t despair just yet: This year’s slowdown is an improvement on last year, which was an improvement on the year before.
• Hiring decelerated to an average 135,000 a month in March and April. That was slower than the December-February pace of 252,000 a month, but still a solid six-digit gain each month.
• During last year’s slowdown, from May through August, job growth came in below 100,000 for four straight months. The average was 80,000 jobs a month.
• In 2010, the slowdown, from June through September, consisted of four straight months of job losses. The average loss was 76,000.
Each year, the slowdown has been at a significantly higher level than the year before.