According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 162,000 new non-farm jobs in March as the unemployment rate held firm at 9.7 percent. Areas of growth included construction, manufacturing, healthcare, temp jobs, and government contracts.
Under the "Computer Systems & Design" category, however, some 5,800 jobs were lost between February and March, but it might not be as bad as it seems. Tech jobs were up by 4,200 over a three month period ending in March, and while the numbers are still being tallied, it looks as though one-year net gains will come in positive at 9,500 new jobs.
"The job growth this month is an encouraging sign, but we still have more work to do," Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said in a statement . "Fifteen million Americans are still unemployed, and 6.5 million have been looking for work for more than six months. That is why it is important Congress pass continuations of COBRA health coverage and unemployment benefits."
Casting a cloud over the mostly positive figures is long-term unemployment. About 414,000 more workers in March claimed unemployment benefits for 27 weeks or longer.