Damn it, Barack Obama.
The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.8 percent last month, the lowest in two years and down from 8.9 percent. That came as employers added 216,000 net jobs, higher than the revised 194,000 gain in February and above the 190,000 in new jobs that analysts had expected.
The report hardly showed gangbuster job creation, but it confirms that a steady expansion is underway and that employers are adding jobs at a pace that is likely to chip away at the nation’s yawning unemployment problem over time. The steady-as-she goes report helps assuage fears that turmoil in the Middle East, higher fuel prices or other factors are steering the U.S. economic recovery off course, despite some uneven economic data recently.