The big monthly employment report is out today. It's better than economists expected, and it shows that the jobs picture is improving.
Here's the good news:
- The economy added 216,000 jobs in March.
- The unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent, the lowest it's been since early 2009.
- The labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — grew.
Of course, the jobs picture is still quite bad by historic standards:
- An 8.8 percent unemployment rate is significantly worse than economists predicted just a few years ago.
- Among those out of work, 45.5 percent have been unemployed for six months or more — and the longer people have been unemployed, the less likely it is that they will find another job.
- Since the end of 2007, the U.S. has lost more than seven million jobs.
Here's the full story on today's jobs report.