US Economy Added Only 103000 Jobs In March


The U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs in March - 223,000 less than in February, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment growth has occurred in many regions across the province; year-over-year increases include Stratford-Bruce Peninsula (7.3 per cent), Toronto (3.4 per cent) and Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula (2.3 per cent).

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised down from +239,000 to +176,000, and the change for February was revised up from +313,000 to +326,000. Job growth is also moderating as the labor market hits full employment.

Job creation since then has been in line with analysts' expectations, with the latest gains driven mostly by the hiring of full-time staff.

With labor market slack diminishing, wage growth picked up a bit in March. Average hourly pay ticked up, climbing 2.7 percent compared with a year earlier. Economists expected average hourly earnings to rise 0.3% over the prior month and 2.7% over the prior year.

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He added, "Overall, looking through the volatility, employment growth is trending higher and wage growth is starting to heat up".

Despite the decline in the rate of hiring after several robust months, the nation's unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent for the sixth straight month.

The jobs numbers are closely watched by Federal Reserve policymakers.

The Fed increased borrowing costs last month and forecast two more interest rate hikes this year. Workers unemployed for less than 14 weeks decreased by 118,000, while the number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, fell by 75,000 and accounted for 20.3% of the unemployed.

With layoffs at historic low levels, the sharp slowdown in job growth is likely to be temporary.