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By Jason Stipp | 04-02-2010 09:00 AM

Jobs Provide a Crucial Lift

Job growth in March was solid, but improved sentiment could be a bigger positive than the number itself, say Morningstar's Bob Johnson and Vishnu Lekraj.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp from Morningstar. Finally at long last we see some job growth in the market with the government releasing its unemployment report for March. It showed 162,000 jobs were gained last month and the unemployment rate held steady at about 9.7%.

Here with me to dig into the report is Morningstar's Bob Johnson. He's calling in. We also have in the studio Vishnu Lekraj. He's an equity analyst covering the employment sector. Thanks for being here again, guys.

Vishnu Lekraj: Thank you.

Bob Johnson: Nice to be here.

Stipp: So first question Vishnu the jobs report, was it a good Friday or a great Friday?

Lekraj: A good Friday. It lived up to its name. We had 162,000 jobs added to the economy, came in with a consensus. Now, as the viewers would know, I like to be cautious with the number and the reports. But I really like this report a lot for the very fact that not only it's positive--and you can't take one month's number and extrapolate out as a trend--but it's a good sign. Things are ticking up, almost all categories are up.

Information services, financial services were the downers this month, which makes a little bit of sense. But all in all, I think it's a really good report.

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