Economy

US Adds 103000 Jobs in March, Below Forecasts

US Adds 103000 Jobs in March, Below Forecasts

USA 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 labour market remains healthy.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised estimates for prior months, resulting in a net loss of jobs. The figure fell far short of predictions and followed a blockbuster February that saw 326,000 jobs added.

The BLS report also included a revision that cut the job tallies from January, dropping the gain from 239,000 to 176,000.

The labor force participation rate dipped slightly from 63 percent to 62.9 percent.

But the United States unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 per cent for the sixth month in a row and wages rose faster than expected.

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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). Economists expected average hourly earnings to rise 0.3% over the prior month and 2.7% over the prior year. However, it's a rather stunning drop from February's breakout numbers and might suggest that recent economic policy moves have employers pulling back on risk.

And last month, factories expanded at a healthy pace after having grown in February at the fastest rate since 2004, according to a private survey.

Unemployment for teenagers fell from 14.4 percent to 13.5 percent, while the jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.7 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), blacks (6.9 percent), Hispanics (5.1 percent) and whites (3.6 percent) stayed about the same.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate remained 4.1 percent, a 17-year low, for a sixth straight month. The average work week was unchanged at 34.5 hours. Investors expected two more rate hikes this year. Average hourly pay ticked up, climbing 2.7 percent compared with a year earlier. Economists do not see an impact on hiring in the near-term from the stock market selloff, which has caused a tightening in financial conditions.

On average, since mid-2017, employers had been adding about 211,000 jobs a month. They can't afford multiple months of below-expectation job growth.


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