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By Jeremy Glaser and Francisco Torralba, Ph.D., CFA | 04-04-2014 09:30 AM

Economy Continues to Thaw Out

March’s jobs report is another sign that weather-related headwinds have diminished and that the fundamentals of the job market are looking up, says Morningstar’s Francisco Torralba.

Jeremy Glaser: For Morningstar, I'm Jeremy Glaser.

The U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, but the unemployment rate remained at 6.7%.

I'm here with Francisco Torralba, an economist at the Investment Management division here at Morningstar. Bob Johnson is off this week.

We're going to talk about the report and if it means that we've really shaken off our weather-related woes.

Francisco, thanks for joining me today.

Francisco Torralba: Thank you for inviting me.

Glaser: Let's first just look at the report. Was this in line with your expectations and with what analysts were expecting for the March numbers?

Torralba: It was pretty close to expectations. I've seen consensus around 180,000 to 210,000, depending on the analyst. On average, I would say something close to 200,000 was the expectation. That was also my expectation, about 200,000. It was a little below at 192,000.

The unemployment rate didn't change, but if you look at the reasons why it didn't change, I think it was good news as well. I can talk about that.

And then one thing that doesn't often get reported is the diffusion of the employment gains. This month, about 60% of industries had employment gains, which is very good.

Glaser: So was this report a sign that the weather-related woes that we had earlier this year are really behind us and that the economy fundamentally is looking pretty good again?

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