Friday, 19 October, 2018

Employers Added a Modest 103000 Jobs in March

A construction worker walked along One Dalton in Boston which is under construction David L. Ryan Globe Staff A construction worker walked along One Dalton in Boston which is under construction
Elsie Buchanan | 07 April, 2018, 09:42

US employers added a modest 103,000 jobs in March after several months of bigger gains, though the government's overall jobs report suggests that the labor market remains healthy. The United States added 103,000 jobs in March, the lowest level in six months and weaker than the 193,000 jobs that economists had been forecasting.

The number of jobs added in February was revised upwards from 313,000 to 326,000 while January's job numbers were revised down from 239,000 to 176,000.

"If one were to only focus on this single month, the March employment report is on the disappointing side", said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, according to CNBC, "Broader context is appropriate, however". That figure is still impressive, economists say, given that the nation is in its ninth year of economic expansion and the labor force is growing much more slowly than it was before the recession.

With labor market slack diminishing, wage growth picked up a bit in March.

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Wage data came in in-line with expectations, however, as average hourly earnings rose 0.3% over the prior month and 2.7% over the prior year. The gain lifted the annual increase in average hourly earnings to 2.7 percent from 2.6 percent in February. 'Overall, looking through the volatility, employment growth is trending higher and wage growth is starting to heat up'.

March's unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the report said, and the number of unemployed Americans remained relatively constant, at 6.6 million.

The jobs numbers are closely watched by Federal Reserve policymakers. Investors expected two more rate hikes this year.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate remained 4.1 percent, a 17-year low, for a sixth straight month. Monthly payroll gains have averaged 201,000 this year, compared with 182,000 in 2017.

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