A job slowdown that appears milder by comparison

Associated Press Modified: May 31, 2012 at 11:15 pm •  Published: May 31, 2012
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Hiring slowed sharply in March and April, raising fears that the economy is sputtering for the third year in a row. But this year's slump is an improvement over last year's and 2010's.

Consider:

—Hiring slid to an average 135,000 a month in March and April from the December-February pace of 252,000 a month.

—In 2011, job growth came in below 100,000 for four straight months from May through August. The average was 80,000 jobs a month.

—In 2010, the economy lost jobs for four consecutive months — from June through September. The average loss was 76,000 a month.


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