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Goolsbee: March jobs numbers a ‘punch to the gut,’ cites sequester

Austan Goolsbee, the former chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, said Friday that the just-released jobs report is a "punch to the gut" and suggested that the tepid number of new jobs added in March is a result of the sequester cuts.

"Look: We all over-shot it," Goolsbee said on CNBC, referring to the projections of much higher job gains. "This is a punch to the gut. This is not a good number. And I think now you're going to interestingly start seeing a lot of discussion about maybe the sequester's a bigger deal than people thought it was."

The jobs report showed the unemployment rate dropping a bit, to 7.6 percent. But the number of jobs created -- 88,000 -- was far less than expected, and a big reason the unemployment rate fell is because nearly half a million people dropped out of the workforce.

The March report comes just one month after a report hailed as one of the strongest in years, with 268,000 jobs created.

For more, see Ylan Q. Mui's recap.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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