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08 April 2018, 01:00 | Maryann Sutton
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Paul Ashworth, chief USA economist at Capital Economics, said Friday'sreport, "is a good illustration of the inherent volatility in the non-farm payroll data".
The unemployment rate has hovered at 4.1 per cent since October as people piled into the labor market. Employers added 326,000 jobs that month - the largest monthly haul in two years. Last year, employment increased by 128,400, which is equivalent to nearly 500 new jobs, on average, per working day. Average hourly earnings rose eight cents or 0.3 per cent last month after edging up 0.1 per cent in February.
Edward Daniel, chief executive of Metropolitan Health Services, says he's raised pay and sweetened benefits to try to fill his 740-person company's roughly 80 open jobs.
"Nonfarm payrolls rose 103,000 in March with the three-month average at a solid 202,000 jobs". There has been an increase in reports of employers, especially in the construction and manufacturing sectors, struggling to find qualified workers.
Still, Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America, which connected job seekers to roughly 300,000 positions a year ago, said growth across the economy appears strong.
The figure was slower than previous months and well below expectations that left the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.1 percent. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the economy adding 193,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate dropping to 4.0 percent.
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There is hope that wage growth will accelerate in the second half of the year and allow the USA central bank to continue raising interest rates. "If anything, the wage data are beginning to strengthen the argument for three more hikes this year".
Ahead of the report, USA stock futures were lower after news late Thursday that President Donald Trump has told administration officials to consider an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.
For example, a rising number of working-age Americans have begun looking for a job and finding one, reversing a trend from the first few years after the recession when numerous unemployed grew discouraged and stopped looking for work.
Analysts said that the cold weather may have contributed to the slowdown.
"The US economy is still maintaining a healthy pace of expansion", said Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo. Manufacturing employment increased 22,000. Leisure and hospitality employers added only 5,000 jobs last month, the least since September. But retail businesses shed 4,000 jobs and construction companies lost 15,000 workers after going on a hiring spree in February. Excluding the addition of 1,000 workers from government payrolls, the private sector added just 102,000 for March.
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