The jobless rate fell during the month of March to 7.6 percent, but this drop was mostly due to workers exiting the labor force all together while job growth was the weakest in nine months.
Payrolls grew by 88,000 workers last month, the smallest in nine months, after a revised 268,000 gain in February that was higher than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 87 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected an advance of 190,000. The jobless rate fell to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency announced this week that it will begin notifying 17,000 employees on April 21st that they will be furloughed as a result of sequestration. This will be the first phase of furloughs the agency will implement through the Summer before reevaluating the need for additional furloughs in the Fall. And in total, the EPA will notify employees that may face as many as 13 days of furlough.
Similarly, the Federal Aviation Administration has notified almost all of its 47,000 employees that they will face up to 11 days without work or pay, while the 20,000 employees of the Federal court system may face 16 days of furlough. The Department of Housing and Urban development has also notified its employees that they can expect to endure 7 days of furlough.
ThinkProgress has a video roundup of local news coverage of sequestration that may hit closer to home for some.
President Obama introduced a budget proposal today that would replace sequestration with something less arbitrary that includes new tax revenue, but Speaker of the House John Boehner rejected the proposal within the hour.