March Sees Largest Job Gain in Three Years

March brought both good and bad news on the jobs front. On the upside, new Labor Department figures out Friday say that payrolls rose by 162,000 in March, the biggest gain since March 2007, and the second gain this year. However, 48,000 of those jobs came from the 2010 Census and will be gone by the second half of the year. The manufacturing industry appears to be leading the way out of the recession, adding about 17,000 jobs in March. Unemployment, meanwhile, hasn't budged from 9.7 percent, although the Federal Reserve predicts that the unemployment rate will ease down to 8.3 percent by the end of 2011. Since the recession's start, 8.5 million jobs have been lost, and while the economy probably began to recover about nine months ago, employers are being cautious about hiring new staff.